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Transfer rumor roundup: West Ham want Rashford or Martial

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The 2016-17 Premier League season has been anything but ideal for West Ham United, which means big changes could be on the cards come January 1.

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Wednesday’s biggest transfer rumor involves Slaven Bilic‘s side and a pair of Manchester United youngsters, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. While Jose Mourinho may be hesitant to let either player leave on loan, the 19- and 21-year-olds, respectively, have made just 15 PL starts (24 total appearances) and scored just four goals between them. Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge are also on the Hammers’ pie-in-the-sky wish list, according to the Telegraph. Perhaps it’s the Hammers’ defense, which has conceded the fourth-most goals in the PL, that they should consider addressing in January instead/as well.


As for potential new arrivals at Old Trafford, Mourinho reportedly seeks another center back. With Eric Bailly currently unavailable due to injury, followed by departure for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Mourinho has just three natural central defenders — Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo — from which to pick.

Victor Lindelof, a 22-year-old Swedish international who currently plies his trade for Benfica, is said to top Mourinho’s shopping list in the new year. Lindelof has a $47-million release clause in his current contract, but Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believe they can do a deal for far less, according to the Guardian.


Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler has for years now been linked with a move to Arsenal or Chelsea, but the 23-year-old German international is reportedly on the verge of signing for four-time defending Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain instead.

Draxler is reportedly being shopped for $42 million, according to the Daily Mail. An agreement is said to be in place between player and prospective new club, but a fee is yet to be agreed with his current employers.


As for the managerial merry-go-round, Alan Pardew remains on the hot seat at Crystal Palace, and the Mirror believes Sam Allardyce tops the Eagles’ list of candidates to become Pardew’s replacement, should he be fired in the coming weeks or months.

Pardew has publicly clashed with the club’s new American owners, which will surely have done little to lift the pressure, especially with just a single point to show for their three games since.

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.