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Report: Early leaders in Lacazette race include Arsenal, Dortmund

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According to a report by French TV station Telefoot, the early clubs linked to Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette include Arsenal, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, and Atletico Madrid.

The 25-year-old Frenchman has announced he will leave his current club at the end of the season, and there are plenty of destinations that would make sense.

The Gunners could bring Lacazette to the Emirates to replace a potential departure of Alexis Sanchez which seems even more likely after manager Arsene Wenger left the Chilean on the bench to start the Liverpool loss on Saturday. Obviously, Wenger is often tied to transfers for most top Frenchmen given his own nationality.

Borussia Dortmund has its own replacement to make, with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having confirmed he will depart in the summer. Arsenal has been linked to Aubameyang as well, and should the Gunners make waves with the Dortmund striker, it could pave the way for Lacazette to make the move to the Bundesliga.

Atletico Madrid was in contact with Lacazette last summer, according to the report, and therefore would still be interested in a future move. It’s rumored just about every summer that Antoine Griezmann will leave for the Premier League, and that could create an opening. Even with Griezmann at Atletico, Diego Simeone could use a striker with Lacazette’s work rate to partner Griezmann or compliment him.

Finally, Manchester City seems the oddest of the names mentioned here. Pep Guardiola already has too many strikers, with world-class Sergio Aguero somehow on the outside looking in. Aguero is playing at the moment, but only due to the injury to Gabriel Jesus, who arrived in the winter and immediately earned the starting spot. Once Jesus recovers from his broken foot, Aguero could return to the bench. There are reports that he could leave for a more guaranteed starting role, but it seems unlikely Lacazette would join a squad already brimming with attacking talent when there are clubs mentioned above that seem far more desperate for a starting striker.

It would be remiss to leave out PSG as an option as well, given the club’s resources and proximity to Lacazette’s current home. Edinson Cavani is in superb form, but is still 30 years old, and could likely use a successor sooner than later. Juventus is often linked to top-level strikers, but with Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic already on location plus the outstanding young striker Paulo Dybala, it’s unlikely they would be in play.

WATCH: Camila’s wicked swerving goal for Brazil

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The Tournament of Nations got underway earlier Thursday, with Brazil and Japan drawing 1-1 in Seattle.

While some in the crowd may’ve been waiting to see the United States women’s national team and Australia in the second game of the twin bill, they got an absolute treat from Brazil’s Camila.

[ MORE: Galaxy’s season-changing signing ]

The Orlando Pride midfielder is yet to scoop up 10 caps, but blasted this 25-yard goal home with a wicked outside bend.

The aesthetics are terrific.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).

Joey Barton’s gambling ban lowered by almost 5 months

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Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for betting on almost 1,300 soccer-related events has been lowered to 13 months and one week.

Putting aside the hilarity of grown men and women discussing whether an extra week was necessary, the alteration means he’ll be eligible to return to football on June 1, 2018.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.

Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:

The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.

“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”

Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.

We may see him on the field in August 2018.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

[ MORE: Nainggolan staying at Roma ]

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.