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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Berahino to Stoke; Zelalem in talks

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Saido Berahino could finally be leaving West Bromwich Albion.

[ MORE: Latest January transfers

Sky Sports claim that Berahino, 23, has been the subject of a bid by Premier League side Stoke City who are looking to add a striker in January. 

Berahino hasn’t played for West Brom since September and had been sent to a training camp in France to work on his match fitness. He’s not scored this season and has only made five appearances for the Baggies.

The former England U-21 international was the subject of bids from Stoke and Tottenham Hotspur over the previous transfer windows but West Brom rejected offers of over $26 million.

Now, with Berahino’s contract set to expire in the summer, Tony Pulis‘ side face a tricky decision. If Berahino leaves for another UK team in the summer when he’s a free agent then West Brom will be due a development fee. However if he goes abroad the Baggies will get nothing for him.

Per the report, Stoke have offered way less than their last offer of $26 million for Berahino. It may be in West Brom’s best interests to accept the bid in January because they’re unlikely to get more than $10 million for him (the current record fee which Liverpool had to pay Burnley for Danny Ings in the summer of 2015) in a development fee.


The Guardian is reporting that U.S. national team youngster Gedion Zelalem, 19, is in talk with Borussia Dortmund over a move to the Bundesliga.

Zelalem was born in Berlin and grew up in Germany until he moved to the U.S. at the age of nine. He declared his national team allegiance to the U.S. in May 2015 and was earmarked as a future star by Arsene Wenger.

[ MORE: Wenger talks to PST about Zelalem

The midfielder made his debut for Arsenal at the age of 17 but his career in north London has stalled after going out on loan to Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish second-tier last season. He has made just two appearances for Arsenal this season, both in the EFL Cup.

It is believed no deal for Zelalem is imminent and the silky midfielder has two-and-a-half years left on his contract at Arsenal.

There’s no doubting Zelalem’s ability but at this stage he hasn’t developed physical and perhaps time working with Thomas Tuchel and Dortmund’s young side will bring the best out of him. It is unlikely he’d be part of Dortmund’s first team right away but we obviously know BVB gives youth a chance. Zelalem and Pulisic ripping it up together in the Bundesliga?


With Sevilla and Southampton reportedly interested, it is believed Liverpool have slapped a $26 million price-tag on central defender Mamadou Sakho.

Sakho, 26, hasn’t made a single appearance for Liverpool this season after falling out with Jurgen Klopp last summer during.

The French international turned down a loan move to Stoke City in the summer window but it is now believed Liverpool want a substantial sum for the former Paris Saint-Germain defender rather than loaning him out.

Various reports suggest Sevilla is in talks with Liverpool over a deal for Sakho, while Southampton could make a move if captain Jose Fonte (who has handed in a transfer request) moves on in January. Saints boss Claude Puel didn’t comment on speculation linking them with Sakho but it will be intriguing to see what happens as the powerful center back clearly needs to move on from Anfield.

Lippi leads China over SKorea 1-0 in World Cup qualifier

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Marcello Lippi earned his biggest victory since taking over as coach of China’s national soccer team, leading his squad to a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Thursday in a World Cup qualifier.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

The coach, who led his native Italy to the World Cup title in 2006, was hired by China in October.

Yu Dabao scored the lone goal at Helong Stadium in Changsha with a header in the 34th minute, giving China only its second victory over South Korea in 32 matches.

China spent much of the second half defending with the visitors piling on the pressure. Ki Seung-yeung and Ji Dong-won both went close for South Korea but could not find a way past China goalkeeper Zeng Cheng.

South Korea has 10 points from six matches in Group A and is still on course to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. China, which last qualified for the World Cup in 2002, has five points.

Only the top two teams from the six-nation group qualify automatically. The third-place team will head to the playoffs.

CONMEBOL wrap: Brazil routs Uruguay, Messi guides Argentina past Chile

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A roundup of Thursday’s action from around CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying…

[ MORE: USMNT looks to build momentum against Honduras in WCQ ]

Paulinho‘s hat-trick helped bring Brazil back from an early deficit as the Selecao topped Uruguay, 4-1. Edinson Cavani put the hosts ahead after nine minutes from the penalty spot, but it was Paulinho that answered 10 minutes later for his first of the night. Neymar also tallied for the Brazilians, who continue to lead CONMEBOL qualifying with 30 points.

Lionel Messi scored in the first half to help lift Argentina over Chile, 1-0. The Barcelona attacker scored after 16 minutes when Angel di Maria was taken down inside the Chilean area by José Fuenzalida. Chile was held to just one shot on target throughout, and the loss leaves the reigning Copa America winners on the outside looking in at the top five.

James Rodriguez rescued Colombia on Thursday as the Real Madrid winger capitalized off of his penalty-kick rebound to give Los Cafeteros a 1-0 win over Bolivia. Goalkeeper Carlos Lampe did his best to preserve a draw for the visitors, recording six saves on the afternoon, however, it wasn’t enough to tame Colombia.

Meanwhile, Paraguay knocked off Ecuador, 2-1, behind goals from Bruno Valdez and Junior Alonso. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 70th minute when Felipe Caicedo converted from the penalty spot, but it wasn’t enough for Ecuador.

Peru battled back with two second-half goals to preserve a 2-2 draw against Venezuela on the road. The hosts got out to a 2-0 advantage before halftime when Mikel Villanueva and Romulu Otero scored for Venezuela, however, the Peruvians struck back in the second stanza to knick a point. Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero scored in the 46th and 64th minutes, respectively, for Peru.


Thursday’s results

Colombia 1-0 Bolivia
Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador
Uruguay 1-4 Brazil
Argentina 1-0 Chile
Venezuela 2-2 Peru


Updated CONMEBOL table

  1. Brazil — 9-3-1 — 30 pts.
  2. Uruguay — 7-2-4 — 23 pts.
  3. Argentina — 6-4-3 — 22 pts.
  4. Colombia — 6-3-4 — 21 pts.
  5. Ecuador — 6-2-4 — 20 pts.
  6. Chile — 6-2-5 — 20 pts.
  7. Paraguay — 5-3-5 — 18 pts.
  8. Peru — 4-3-6 — 15 pts.
  9. Bolivia — 2-1-9 — 7 pts.
  10. Venezuela — 1-3-9 — 6 pts.

Ex-Disney CEO Eisner eyes English soccer club Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH, England (AP) Michael Eisner, the former chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., is in talks to buy English soccer club Portsmouth.

The fourth-tier club says it has entered into a 70-day exclusivity agreement with Eisner for takeover talks to take place.

Eisner wrote on Twitter: “Exciting times! Looking forward to coming over and meeting you all. Good luck against Newport County on Saturday!!”

Portsmouth, which is based on the south coast, spent beyond its means in the pursuit of glory. The team endured financial turmoil in the years following its 2008 FA Cup win, sinking from the Premier League to the fourth tier.

After entering bankruptcy protection, Portsmouth was rescued by the fans through a trust in 2013.

CONCACAF: USMNT, Trinidad & Tobago seek first points of Hexagonal

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Through two rounds of play in the Hexagonal, everything has gone according to plan for Mexico and Costa Rica.

Not so much though for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

While Los Ticos and El Tri currently sit in the top two positions of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the U.S. is left at the bottom and faces a difficult match against Honduras when play resumes on Friday night.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras match ]

Mexico and Costa Rica will face off at the Estadio Azteca in the second of Friday’s three slated qualifiers, and while both nations surely expect to reach the World Cup in Russia, both CONCACAF heavyweights have the opportunity to put their stamp on the group.

For Costa Rica, a victory could potentially open up a five-point gap over El Tri, while a win for Mexico would bring Juan Carlos Osorio’s side the opportunity leap over their Central American foes.

Friday’s action will kick off at 7 p.m. though when third place Panama travels to Trinidad & Tobago, who seeks its first points of the Hex. Trinidad will be led by captain Kenwyne Jones of Atlanta United as well as Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino, with the duo scoring a combined 39 international goals for the Soca Warriors.

Below is the schedule and current table ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF matches as the region turns its attention to Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal.


Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama — 7 p.m. ET

Mexico vs. Costa Rica — 9:50 p.m. ET

USMNT vs. Honduras — 10:30 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)


1. Costa Rica — 2-0-0 — 6 pts.
2. Mexico — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
3. Panama — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
4. Honduras — 1-0-1 — 3 pts.
5. Trinidad & Tobago — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.
6. USMNT — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.