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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Sakho to Southampton; Snodgrass to West Ham

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Is Mamadou Sakho on his way to Southampton?

The Frenchman has fallen way down the pecking order at Liverpool after falling out with manager Jurgen Klopp in the summer and being sent home from the Reds’ U.S. tour for tardiness.

[ MORE: Conte wants new signings

A report in France suggests that Saints are “heavily considering” a move for Sakho, 26, as they may be looking to freshen up their defense following the news on Thursday that captain Jose Fonte has handed in a transfer request and a January move to Everton or Manchester United could happen.

Sakho turned down a loan move to Stoke City in the summer which is said to have further angered Klopp, but the likes of Galatasary, PSG, Inter Milan and AC Milan have also been rumored to be in for the French international in the January window.

His quality is undoubted but his issues off the field at Liverpool over the past 12 months have led to his fall from grace at Anfield. He joined from PSG in the summer of 2014 for $22.1 million but it is unlikely Liverpool will get anywhere near that amount from Southampton and maybe a loan deal would make most sense to start with?

Can he resurrect his career alongside Virgil Van Dijk at Southampton? It would certainly seem like a good fit for both the player and clubs involved.


According to Sky Sports Hull City have turned down a $3.6 million bid from West Ham for winger Robert Snodgrass.

The Scottish international, 29, is said to be eager to move on from the Tigers and was upset that a clause has reportedly been triggered in his contract extending his deal at Hull for another year, despite his deal set to expire this summer.

Snodgrass scored a stunning free kick against Everton over the festive period and he is Hull’s leading scorer with nine goals in 21 games. New manager Marco Silva has already stated that he doesn’t want Snodgrass to leave and it appears West Ham will have to bid a lot higher for the left-footed attacker.


Staying with West Ham, Sunderland manager David Moyes confirmed on Friday that they have turned down an offer from the Hammers for Jermain Defoe.

Defoe, 34, scored twice for Sunderland against Liverpool on Jan. 2 in their 2-2 draw and has scored 11 times in 21 games in all competitions this season for the struggling Black Cats.

The former West Ham striker has been linked with a move to the London Stadium for many weeks but this is the first time Moyes has spoken about the move publicly.

“We have said Jermain is not for sale and he is not for sale. West Ham made a bid and we rejected it,” Moyes said.

West Ham’s model in the transfer window appears to be along the lines of bidding for the star players of relegation threatened squads. Prediction time: bids for Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke coming up…

Spartak and Zenit fined in latest Russia fan racism cases

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MOSCOW (AP) Spartak Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg have both been fined for racist chants by their fans, the latest such incident in World Cup host nation Russia.

Spartak’s fans were accused of aiming monkey chants at FC Tosno player Nuno Rocha, who is black, while some Zenit supporters allegedly chanted a Nazi slogan during a league game.

[ MORE: Bayern 1-2 Real Madrid ]

The clubs must each pay a 100,000-ruble ($1,600) fine, and Spartak has been hit with a partial stadium closure for its next cup game, state news agency RIA Novosti quotes Russian Football Union disciplinary committee head Artur Grigoryants as saying.

The verdict comes after FIFA charged Russia with racist abuse of France players during last month’s friendly.

Zenit has also faced two racism charges from UEFA this season.

Europa League: Arsenal, Marseille host semifinal 1st legs

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Arsenal’s Champions League dreams could be in for a rude awakening against tournament-tested Atletico Madrid.

The Premier League vs. La Liga match-up is one of two Europa League semifinal first legs set to be served up Sunday, with Marseille and Red Bull Salzburg meeting in the other.

[ MORE: Bayern 1-2 Real Madrid ]

There’s something romantic about Arsene Wenger closing out his time at Arsenal against French opposition in Lyon, but Atleti and Salzburg won’t step aside for poetics.

Both matches kickoff ay 3:05 p.m. ET

Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid

It’s a bit stunning that this tie has no history considering both club’s statures in their leagues and Europe, but that’s what we’ll se when Arsenal welcomes Atleti for the first leg.

Arsenal boasts two of the top 10 performers in the UEL this season — it would be three had the Gunners not sold Theo Walcott — and are paced by Aaron Ramsey, who has four goals and an assist. Mesut Ozil, who’s ready to return to the pitch, has the reverse with a goal and four helpers.

The Gunners have outscored UEL opposition 29-10 this season.

It’s no surprise that Antoine Griezmann has been Atleti’s best attacker since the Madrid side dropped out of the UCL to run rampant through the UEL knockout rounds. Atleti beat Copenhagen 5-1, Lokomotiv Moscow 8-1, and Sporting Lisbon 2-1 for an aggregate score line of 15-3.

Marseille vs. Red Bull Salzburg

Don’t expect this to be a simple case of Ligue 1 bossing inferior opposition: This pair met in the group stage, with the Austrian side winning at home and drawing 0-0 in France.

Salzburg has shown its mettle in various ways during the UEL. After allowing just one goal in an unbeaten group stage, they’ve won 4-3 over Real Sociedad, 2-1 against Borussia Dortmund, and 6-5 versus Lazio. That’s no easy road, and Marseille represents another big challenge.

Marseille is bidding to make its first European final since 2004, and has been led by Dimitri Payet‘s three goals and four assists, and Lucas Ocampos’ four goals and one assist. Marseille has knocked off RB Leipzig, Athletic Bilbao, and Braga after the group stage.

Names you’ll need to know from Salzburg: defenders Stefan Lainer and Paulo Miranda have been spectacular, and Munas Dabbur and Valon Berisha have each scored five times in the tournament.

Mourinho on longtime nemesis Wenger: ‘We can be friends in future’

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Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger have had a poor relationship, but the former thinks he’s soon to get along with the latter.

[ MORE: Bayern 1-2 Real Madrid ]

Manchester United boss Mourinho, 55, heaped praise on the departing Arsenal manager ahead of the two sides’ Sunday meeting at Old Trafford (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), saying the Frenchman has earned much respect.

Branding Wenger “iconic,” Mourinho says his fiery rivalry with Wenger stemmed from Arsenal’s stature in the Premier League when the Portuguese took over Chelsea.

“If he respects me even 50 percent of what I respect him we can even be friends in the future,” Mourinho told Sky Sports News. “I have lots of respect for him. But the reality is that he was at Arsenal, he was the champion and I came to the country in 2004 and wanted to steal his title. That’s football.”

Mourinho said he’s tried to show his respect for Wenger, 68, over the past few seasons. It may become a passable relationship, but we find it hard to believe the pair will be dining together on a regular basis as the sun sets on their managerial careers (Mou has a while to go, we think).

Real’s Modric on Bayern feeling unlucky: “That’s their problem”

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Bayern Munich produced far more chances than visiting Real Madrid in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg in Germany, but lost 2-1 at the Allianz Arena.

Franck Ribery butchered an open shot at goal, Robert Lewandowski beat Keylor Navas but didn’t score late, and Thomas Mueller missed getting contact on a shot inside the six.

[ MORE: Bayern 1-2 Real Madrid ]

It was that kind of day, and Mueller is baffled that his team did not finish more than Joshua Kimmich’s opener.

“Everybody is wondering why this game is 1-2 for Madrid,” Mueller reportedly said. “We still cannot believe it.”

The quote comes from BeIN Sport’s Tancredi Palmeri, who has a stinging rebuke from Real Madrid maestro Luka Modric.

Real wasn’t great on Wednesday, but also limited their big mistakes to one: Marcelo’s lapse of judgment which helped Kimmich to open the scoring for Bayern Munich.

The hosts had a huge giveaway from Rafinha on the match-winner, and backup backstop Sven Ulreich didn’t have a phenomenal day on either goal. Throw in Arjen Robben’s injury requiring an 8th minute substitution, and Bayern did not have much good fortune on the day.

This one, though, doesn’t seem over, even with the tie moving to the Bernabeu.