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Alan Pardew fired by Crystal Palace after dreadful 2016

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The reign of Pardiola at Crystal Palace is over.

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On Thursday Alan Pardew was fired as manager of Crystal Palace with the Eagles winning just four of their 17 games this season and just six in total in 2016.

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Despite reaching the 2015-16 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium (Palace lost to Manchester United in extra time) it has been a horrendous 12 months for Pardew and the South London club in the Premier League as they slumped from challenging for a top six finish to becoming relegation candidates.

[ MORE: Pardew releases statement

The Eagles released a brief statement on their website to confirm they’d fired former Crystal Palace player Pardew.

Crystal Palace F.C. have today asked Alan Pardew to step down as Manager of the Club.

Club Chairman Steve Parish said, “I would like to put on record our sincere gratitude for the tremendous service Alan has given us, both in his time here as Manager and previously as a player.  Following a fantastic second half of 2014/15, the 2015/16 season culminated in only narrowly missing out on winning the FA cup as well as securing our Premier League place for a record breaking fourth time. During his tenure Alan’s hard work and dedication were without question, he has improved so many areas of the Club and we wish him the very best for the future.

With games now coming thick and fast over the holiday period the Club are hoping to put someone in place as quickly as possible but have nothing to say about a replacement at this time.

Just three days before Christmas Day is a particularly brutal time to fire someone from their job but Pardew has had this coming for quite some time.

Following a run of six-straight PL defeats from October to early December, the former West Ham, Southampton and Newcastle coach came under heavy scrutiny and acknowledge his job was under threat. With Palace taken over my American investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer, Pardew hit out following Palace’s win against Southampton in December.

“The chairman got a bit edgy this week, as you’d expect,” Pardew said. “We have a lot of serious investors at the club who perhaps don’t know a lot about football so the chairman has been defending me. I always think as a manager at any level, particularly in the modern era, expect the sack. Just expect it; it’s coming at some stage, so just do your job as best you can. Every week, that’s what I try to do.”

It’s unlikely that comment went down well.

After spending big money on the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Christian Benteke, Pardew just hasn’t got the best out of his squad and after almost two years at the helm he now leaves the Eagles in a relegation battle.

With huge relegation battles coming up against Swansea City and West Ham coming up in their next four PL games, Palace sit just one point above relegation zone. Who could replace Pardew?

Sam Allardyce is the bookmakers favorite to take charge, while Chris Coleman, Roy Hodgson and Gary Rowett are also leading candidates.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea still pursuing Roma duo, and more

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Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.

According to multiple reports, Chelsea is attempting a double signing from AS Roma, forward Edin Dzeko and midfielder Emerson Palmieri. The Brazilian left-back is rated by Roma at $30.5 million but he could join Chelsea on loan. However the interest in Dzeko is much newer, and it’s unclear whether Roma would allow Dzeko to leave, especially in the middle of the season.

[READ: MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker]

With Roma preparing to face Inter Milan this weekend, talks between the two clubs have been put on hold until next week.

Dzeko’s agent confirmed that Conte is interested in the Bosnia and Herzegovina international but stated Dzeko’s desire is to remain at Roma.

After failing to beat out Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup for Manchester City, it would be interesting to see Dzeko give the Premier League another go, although he’d likely play second-fiddle again, this time to Alvaro Morata.

Here are some more transfer rumors from around Europe and the Premier League:

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MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker

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For a few dozen players, hearing their name called up to the big stage will validate all the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made since they were children.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. when Los Angeles FC is on the clock at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the 2018 MLS SuperDraft will be underway. Many of the top college prospects will soon find out whether they’ll be headed to the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Southeast, Southern California or anywhere in between.

[MORE: 2018 MLS Mock Draft]

This year’s draft class is loaded with attacking talent, from Generation Adidas trio Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest), Mason Toye (Indiana) and Francis Atuahene (Michigan) to Twumasi’s college teammate Jon Bakero.

But potential No. 1 overall pick is a three-time national champion, Thomas Hilliard-Arce, who could become the anchor of a backline for a decade.

Follow along below as we update the picks live as we hear them:

(more…)

Bayern signs Germany midfielder Goretzka from rival Schalke

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich signed Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka on Friday on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Schalke effective from next season.

Bayern said the 22-year-old Goretzka signed a four-year deal from July 1 through June 2022.

Schalke, which Goretzka joined in 2013 from hometown club Bochum, said the player informed the club this week of his wish to join Bayern when his contract expired.

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“We think we did everything in the last months to convince Leon to stay with us,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough.”

Schalke had long been engaged in trying to get Goretzka to extend his contract, but was aware of reported interest from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

“We’re very happy that Leon Goretzka, a German international with big potential, has decided in favor of Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way it’s ensured that Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Goretzka scored 19 goals and set up 13 more in 130 appearances for Schalke.

The club had previously expressed its displeasure with Bayern making public statements about its player after Goretzka was praised by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Jupp Heynckes.

Heidel said “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”

Goretzka has six goals in 12 games for Germany.

Pele hospitalized overnight in Brazil

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The most famous soccer player in the world had a scare last night as he was hospitalized in Brazil for “severe exhaustion.”

Pele, 77, was set to travel to London this weekend to be honored by the Football Writers Association, though it looks like that trip has now been postponed.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion,” a FWA statement said. “He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery.

“Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion.”

Here’s to hoping Pele makes a full recovery.

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