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Transfer Rumors: Schneiderlin to Everton; Van Dijk to Man City; Chelsea target trio

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Morgan Schneiderlin is a wanted man.

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Reports are suggesting that both Everton and West Bromwich Albion are in for the French international midfielder who has become an outsider under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

Schneiderlin, 27, joined United from Southampton for $30 million in the summer of 2015 and after a bright start to his career at Old Trafford under Louis Van Gaal, Schneiderlin became increasingly sidelined last season and that’s continued this season as he’s made just four appearances in the Premier League.

The Telegraph states that West Brom has made a club record $22.1 million bid for Schneiderlin, while Everton is also said to be interested in a permanent deal with Ronald Koeman eager to link up with his former player.

United certainly have to cut some deadwood with reports suggesting a massive $220 million spending spree is on the way as Mourinho continues to remodel his squad. Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger could both be let go in January and it would seem the Frenchman would be more likely to make a big impact at Everton. With Gareth Barry in the twilight of his career, Schneiderlin could slot in alongside James McCarthy and Idrissa Gueye in central midfield and provide the ability to link up play with his impressive passing range.


Given his superb form for Southampton, Virgil Van Dijk‘s name continues to be linked with big money moves away from St Mary’s.

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The Dutch center back, 25, has now been linked with a move to Manchester City as the Daily Mail reports that talks have been held between the two clubs about a $61.4 million transfer for VVD.

Would he slot in to Pep Guardiola‘s system at the Etihad Stadium? Of course he would. Van Dijk is comfortable on the ball, quick and strong in defense and has become one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Given City’s problems in central defense with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi susceptible on the counter, plus Vincent Kompany‘s continued injuries, making a big move for Van Dijk makes sense.

However, with the Dutchman happy at Southampton and Saints unlikely to sell in January, it is more likely this move will happen in the summer. Van Dijk joined Saints from Celtic in September 2015 for $17 million. So, in just over a year his value will have soared by $48 million. Not bad business from Saints, if they do let him go and if a club offering UEFA Champions League action comes in for one of Saints’ star players we’ve seen them let plenty of players go in the past for a big profit.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are also said to be interested in Van Dijk.


Premier League leaders Chelsea are set to launch a bid to strengthen its squad in January.

The Telegraph suggests that the incoming $75 million for Oscar from Shanghai SIPG (that deal will be confirmed in the coming days) will be used to try and sign Monaco duo Djibril Sidibe and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Bakayoko, 22, was watched by Antonio Conte against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League and the holding midfielder has also been linked with a move to Manchester United. If Chelsea manage to offload Cesc Fabregas, Bakayoko would provide more steel and power to Chelsea’s already incredibly industrious midfield. As for Sidibe, he’s an attacking right back at Monaco and he could maybe push Victor Moses for minutes as a right wing back in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation.

The report also states that Roma and Belgium midfielder Radja Nainggolan continues to interest Chelsea and the 28-year-old may be targeted in January if Oscar’s move goes through and out of favor Fabregas moves on.

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Watford

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  • Chelsea are without N'Golo Kante, Victor Moses (both hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) is still absent.
  • Watford remain without Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl (both thigh), plus long-term absentees Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success (all knee).
  • Watford have not won against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1986, but the Hornets have won 10 points of a possible 12 on the road. 
  • Chelsea have lost three of their first eight matches this season. No team has ever lost this many of their opening eight matches and still won the Premier League title.

Watford heads south for another London derby with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

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The Hornets have had an amazing start to the season and currently occupy fourth place on 15 points, two points ahead of fifth-place Chelsea, which has lost two-straight Premier League games. The Blues have struggled without N’Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata and there have been reports of grumbles from the squad about dissatisfaction with Antonio Conte‘s training methods, but the Chelsea coach has brushed those rumors off.

Meanwhile Watford is coming off a confidence-boosting win last weekend against fellow Londoners Arsenal, and the club is looking to take down another big club for a second-straight week.

What they’re saying

Watford manager Marco Silva on his team’s start“I want everybody to be really calm. We did really in the first eight matches but it’s too early. We want to continue to work hard every day. Everything changes fast and you need to keep going and treat the next game as the most important. But of course I feel proud.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on being under pressure: “‘Do I feel the pressure? Every manager feels pressure, but I try to give all of myself into my job, so I’m happy when I go home because I know in every moment I give all of myself for the fans, the players and the club. In football you know anything can happen, but the most important thing is to work.”

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Prediction

Chelsea has its back against the wall but the team’s overall quality should be enough to see them through with all three points against Watford. The Hornets luck runs out in Stamford Bridge as Chelsea hold on for a late win. Chelsea 2-1 Watford

Leicester City record massive earnings from UEFA Champions League

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Leicester City’s UEFA Champions League campaign may have ended without a trophy, but the Premier League side pipped the European champions in the bank account.

UEFA announced on Friday that Leicester City earned $96,167,125 during the Champions League run that ended in the quarterfinals, the farthest of any Premier League club. Real Madrid, the back-to-back champions, earned a slightly less $95,385,679. Much of the difference comes from TV rights deals in England, which pays out more to teams compared to the TV rights deal in Spain.

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Juventus, the Italian giant, earned the most of any club in last year’s Champions League, making a whopping $129,965,357, mostly thanks to the TV rights again.

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic could return in December

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Dare to Zlatan? It could be only a couple of months away.

That’s according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who said the veteran striker could return from his torn ACL before the end of the calendar year.

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“Zlatan is here, he’s working here and under our control,” Mourinho told reporters. “He’s working as you would expect so, so, so hard. But he’s not to be back in the next week or next couple of weeks. Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes, I do. But it’s just a feeling.”

The big Swede scored 28 goals for Man United last year in all competitions, proving that he’s still got it at the age of 36, but it’s going to be tough for him to find his old form coming off an ACL injury at such an old age. After suffering the injury last April, it’s been a long road to recovery for Ibrahimovic.

However, with the play of Romelu Lukaku up top, Ibrahimovic would only play from time to time, which could help in his recovery both from the knee injury and just the general recovery between games.

Manchester City quartet called up by Brazil for friendlies

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Brazilian National Team coach Tite has decided on calling up a full-strength squad for November’s upcoming friendly matches in Europe, including four Manchester City players in his 25-man squad.

Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Danilo and Ederson all made the squad as Tite looks to develop more chemistry among his side ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which Brazil breezed into after Tite took over in 2016.

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Luckily for Manchester City and the other European-based players in the squad, Brazil’s friendly matches will be played in Western Europe. The Selecao first faces Japan in Lille, France on November 10 before taking on England at Wembley Stadium on November 14.

The call-ups may be a tough pill for Guardiola to swallow though. As of Friday, Manchester City has 17 games remaining in the calendar year, and surely he would prefer for some of his starters to get a two-week break in November to preserve some energy instead of play in friendly matches.