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Celtic hot-shot Dembele hoping Deschamps calls soon

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) His glut of goals for Celtic this season has made him one of the most coveted strikers in Europe. Now, Moussa Dembele is awaiting a call from France coach Didier Deschamps.

The 20-year-old Dembele, signed last year from English club Fulham, has scored 32 goals in all competitions. His impact has helped Celtic open up a 27-point lead in the Scottish title race.

Dembele has stood out with his clinical finishing, pace and strength, scoring 12 of his goals in the last six games.

[ MORE: Mings angry at suspension ]

France will name its squad next week for a World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg, and the former Paris Saint-Germain academy player hopes his scoring feats will lead to a first senior international call-up.

“I would say I’m not far from (the full French squad), I just try to keep working and it will come when it comes,” Dembele told the BBC. “I don’t think about it. There’s a game (against Rangers) on Sunday and the French list is coming out next week and we’ll see after that.”

Dembele will have trouble dislodging the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Andre-Pierre Gignac or Kevin Gameiro from the French squad anytime soon. But with France at the top of Group A in World Cup qualifying with 10 points from four games and facing Luxembourg on March 25, Deschamps could well take the opportunity to take a closer look at a player who only made his debut for his country’s under-21 team in October.

“People in France know what I’m capable of, so it’s not just about this game, it’s about what I’ve done through the season,” Demebel said.

Dembele said his game has improved since moving to Scotland from Fulham. Whether it has or not, it has certainly made him a transfer target for top Premier League and European clubs.

“I have developed a lot from the first day I came in here. I have learned a lot alongside the manager and the players here. It’s been a good season so far for me and the Celtic team,” Dembele said. “I am young so I try to learn from everyone and every aspect of the game is important.”

Follow Live: Chelsea, Swans, Cherries in FA Cup replays

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Chelsea, Swansea City, and Bournemouth look to avoid upsets in replays of their third round FA Cup matches.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

All three matches kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET

The Blues tangle with former Premier League peers Norwich City, this time at Stamford Bridge, in a bid to host a fourth round match with Newcastle United.

Antonio Conte‘s not messing around (too much) with the XI.

Swansea City and Wolves, meanwhile, are arguably battling for a bid in the fourth round, as a trip to Notts County is on the docket for the winner of Wednesday’s replay at the Liberty Stadium.

Bournemouth is at Wigan Athletic for a replay with the third-tier Latics, with the victor hosting West Ham United on Jan. 27.

Benevento captain Lucioni banned one year for doping

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ROME (AP) Benevento captain Fabio Lucioni has been banned one year for doping.

[ MORE: Plenty to prove for Big Sam ]

Italy’s national anti-doping organization made the decision Tuesday after the steroid clostebol was found in a sample taken after Benevento’s 1-0 loss to Torino in September.

Benevento team physician Walter Giorgione was banned for four years for administering the steroid to Lucioni in a spray.

Both Lucioni and Giorgione plan to appeal.

The 30-year-old Lucioni joined Benevento in 2014 and the defender helped the team move from the third division up into Serie A this season for the first time.

Benevento is last in Serie A with only two wins in 20 matches.

The ban is back-dated to October, meaning Lucioni can return early next season.

Everton completes move for Walcott: “I’m dead excited” (video)

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Everton continues to supply its managers with top-end talent, adding Theo Walcott to its expensive season of boys which includes Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Cenk Tosun, Jordan Pickford, and Michael Keane.

[ MORE: Plenty to prove for Big Sam ]

The deal is reported to be near $28 million for Walcott, who’s made only a half-dozen Premier League appearances this season but did nab three goals in five Europa League matches.

Walcott, 28, scored 108 goals in 397 appearances for the Gunners. His 19-goal campaign last season was his second-best — he scored 21 in 2012-13 — but Walcott dipped down Arsene Wenger‘s depth charge and is leaving to pursue regular football.

And his comments will be lapped up by the #WengerOut brigade at his now former club:

“The Club has won trophies but I want them to win trophies now. The manager is very hungry and it’s just what I need. I’ve had a couple of chats with him and straightaway I felt that hunger and that desire that he wanted from me. I need that and I wanted that

The move is another exciting one for Everton, which has underachieved under Ronald Koeman and now Sam Allardyce. And it’s another sale from Arsenal which gives pause: Are the underperforming Gunners going to regret the move?

In the 2005-06 season, Walcott made his Southampton debut in the Football League Championship at the age of 16, and moved to Arsenal the next season.

Walcott has eight goals in 47 caps for England, and won two FA Cups at Arsenal.

[ MORE: Montreal nabs Algerian DP ]

Here is a useful quote from Sam Allardyce:“His physical output is excellent, he would be one of our top players in that area as well, which will hopefully bring us a lot more excitement and more ability to get forward quicker and create.

And here is an utterly useless one: ““If you analyse his goal record, then we are looking at a player who contributes goals on a regular basis.”

You don’t say. To paraphrase: If you look at all his goals, he regularly scores goals. Here’s more from the player on his move.

Montreal to nab Algerian DP Taider from Bologna

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The loss of Swiss power Blerim Dzemaili is a big one for the Montreal Impact, but another World Cup player may be taking his place in Quebec.

[ MLS: Club-by-club SuperDraft needs ]

Tutto Bologna reports that Algerian playmaker Saphir Taider, 25, is set to sign with the Impact on a contract through 2020.

On loan to Montreal last season, Dzemaili went back to Bologna. Taider is coming back the other way and will reportedly be a Designated Player.

Taider isn’t as consistent a player as Dzemaili, but presents a skill set that should be a massive problem for MLS midfields.

He has 42 caps with five goals for Algeria, and was once property of Juventus. He spent parts of four seasons at Inter Milan, with loan stints back to Bologna, at Sassuolo, and a unremarkable time at Southampton.