Getty Images

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Alli to Real Madrid; Pjanic to Arsenal

Leave a comment

Dele Alli has been linked with a massive move to Real Madrid in the summer.

[ MORE: Best PL XI, so far ]

Despite reports suggesting that Tottenham Hotspur have no intention of selling Alli, 20, to the Spanish giants and reigning European champions, the Daily Mirror claims that Madrid would also offer Spanish international Isco as part of any deal for the England international.

Alli, who signed a new five-year contract in September, has scored four goals in his last two games for Spurs in the Premier League and the reigning PFA Young Player of the Year is back to his best after an up and down start to the 2016-17 campaign.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

With Madrid having plenty of success following Gareth Bale‘s move from Spurs to the Santiago Bernabeu back in 2013, they obviously keep an eye on Tottenham’s top talents and Mauricio Pochettino had said himself that he expects Alli to be one of Europe’s top midfielders for the next decade.

Will he fulfill his potential in London or Madrid? Alli is said to be worth well over a fee of $62 million but deals like that aren’t a problem for Real even though they’re banned from signing players until the summer. It’s no surprise they will try to pry Alli away from Tottenham.


Across north London, Arsenal are said to be lining up targets if Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla doesn’t sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Miralem Pjanic, 26, is said to be the man Arsene Wenger wants and the Sun claims that Arsenal’s manager has already reached out to the Juventus midfielder.

The Bosnian playmaker only moved to Juve from AS Roma last season but it is believed a fee of $36 million would be enough to see him swap Turin for London.

For Cazorla, he has just six months left on his current Arsenal deal and is currently out injured for the Gunners and won’t return until February. When he is fit, he is at the hub of Arsenal’s midfield and has excelled in a deep-lying role over the past 12 months. Pjanic is from the same mold and has shown his playmaking qualities in Serie A and for Bosnia and he could well be the long-term replacement for 32-year-old Cazorla.

With Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder yet to sign a new deal, both he and Wenger have revealed multiple times that a new deal is welcomed. That said, this report suggests that perhaps the Gunners are planning for a future without Cazorla.

Day 9: USMNT tops Group F and more from the U20 World Cup

Twitter/@FIFAcom
Leave a comment

Five teams booked their place in the knockout phase at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Sunday, including Tab Ramos and the U.S. after the Americans picked up a valuable point to finish atop Group F.

[ MORE: Allardyce steps down at Palace ]

USMNT U-20s 1-1 Saudi Arabia

An unbeaten record in group play has Ramos and Co. moving on to the Round of 16, where the U.S. will meet New Zealand. Brooks Lennon inked his name on the scoresheet for the first time at this month’s World Cup just prior to halftime, before Abdulelah Alamri equalized with almost a quarter hour left to play.

Senegal 0-0 Ecuador

A draw was all Senegal needed to ensure it would continue its run at the World Cup, while Ecuador fell short of a final 16 bid after only managing two draws during Group F play.

New Zealand 0-2 France

With nine goals for and none conceded during Group E play, France remains one of the heavy hitters at the conclusion of the group phase. Les Bleus received a strong contribution from Bastia winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who netted twice in the first half.

Honduras 2-0 Vietnam

Honduras scored twice in the final 14 minutes-plus added time but neither nation reaches the Round of 16 with Sunday’s result.

Daly collapses during match, treated for heat illness

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

HOUSTON (AP) Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly collapsed during the final minute of a National Women’s Soccer League match against the Seattle Reign as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

The 25-year-old Daly was stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital, where the team said she was being treated for heat illness.

The temperature at BBVA Compass Stadium was 92 degrees at the 3 p.m. kickoff. The Reign won 2-0.

[ MORE: Perisic talking with Man Utd? ]

The NWSL issued a statement that said the league had worked with the Dash before the season to schedule any afternoon games early in the year to help avoid heat issues. The teams took a hydration break late in the match.

“We will immediately review these measures to prevent this situation from occurring in the future,” the statement said.

Reign coach Laura Harvey posted to Twitter: “Proud of the team today. Some of the hottest conditions I’ve seen. Road games are tough but that was crazy.”

MLS roundup: Outrageous dive, posts doom ‘Caps; Ramirez stays red hot

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Six matches are in the books on a busy Saturday in Major League Soccer, and five of them finished 1-0.

How they got there? Much different stories. With the Cali Clasico still to play, let’s dig into the five that followed Seattle 1-0 Portland.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]


Vancouver Whitecaps 0-1 DC United

It’s especially difficult to win on the road in Major League Soccer, unless the hosts fritter away four good chances off the woodwork — including a Cristian Techera PK — and give away a spot kick of their own. Lamar Neagle converted the 61st offering after a sinister dive from Jose Guillermo Ortiz. He was taken off soon after, and is probably going to miss sometime when the DisCo is done with him. Outrageous.

New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution

Not one, not two, nor three, but four New England players saw a low cross slide by them for Daniel Royer to finish as New York came from behind to take all three points at Red Bull Arena. Cody Cropper committed a gaffe that allowed Bradley Wright-Phillips to equalize after a Lee Nguyen PK had put the Revs ahead early.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting KC

Homegrown defender and University of Denver product Kortne Ford has his first MLS goal, as the Rapids surprised the Western Conference leaders on Saturday. SKC outshot Colorado by nearly 20 attempts (Shoulder shrug emoji).

Minnesota United 1-0 Orlando City

There were questions as to whether NASL superstar Christian Ramirez could translate his game to Major League Soccer.

Yes. The answer is yes.

Ramirez has eight goals in 13 MLS matches, and should be hearing his name from a certain Bruce Arena around Gold Cup time. Those USMNT dreams of last season should come true.

Bobby Shuttleworth made six saves for his third shutout of the season. All have come at home.

Real Salt Lake 1-0 Philadelphia Union

Joao Plata keeps shooting, and the tiny Ecuadorian menace keeps scoring, too. His 36th minute goal was enough for the hosts at Rio Tinto.

Raiola: Zlatan to “100 percent” stay in Europe for two seasons

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]

Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:

“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”

It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.

But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.