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Report: Chelsea win race to sign wonderkids

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Two of the brightest young talents in European soccer could be heading to Chelsea.

[ MORE: United face striker crisis

Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Mirror reports that highly-touted Glasgow Rangers teenager Billy Gilmour and Ajax teen sensation Daishawn Redan are both close to signing for the Premier League leaders.

[ MORE: Dembele to Man City?

Gilmour, just 15, has already been involved in training with Rangers’ first team this season, was close to making their first team squad for a recent cup game and the midfielder plays for Scotland at U-20 international level. Per the report, Gilmour is wanted by Barcelona, Bayern Munich and both Manchester City and Manchester United.

As for Dutch youth international Redan, the 16-year-old striker is also being tracked by Chelsea with City, United and RB Leipzig all said to be interested in enticing the youngster away from Ajax despite the Amsterdam club having an exemplary record of bringing through and nurturing young talent.

[ MORE: Conte defends Chelsea’s counter

Chelsea’s policy of stockpiling the best young talent in Europe has come under plenty of criticism in recent years but it’s hard to stop their model.

The Blues currently have over 40 players out on loan across the UK and Europe, with plenty of the most talented youngsters in the game signed up. Yet, when you look to their first team in recent years its tough to see any of their academy products who’ve broken through.

Yes, Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Ake and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all in the first team squad but all three have struggled for regular minutes this season.

Reports linking Chelsea with a move for Gilmour and Redan seem very similar to that of Karamoko Dembele heading to Manchester City. Videos of the 13-year-old playing have gone viral and he has already played for Celtic’s U-21 side in Scotland.

If you were a youngster, where would you go? To Chelsea, Manchester United or Barcelona for big bucks, or to a team like Ajax, Southampton or Celtic where you’ll likely get regular minutes and develop at a faster rate?

It’s an intriguing situation to be in for these young players and if you look at the players who have come through Chelsea’s academy and ended up joining other clubs after loans spells, most have gone on to very successful professional careers.

Below is video of Gilmour and Redan, who could be the next big things on the block in west London…

Billy Gilmour

Daishawn Redan

MLS Playoff bracket, dates set: Chicago, Vancouver host Tues.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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Major League Soccer’s playoff bracket is set. Our staff predictions are coming Tuesday before the first round match-ups, but here’s what we’ll be watching…

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

The chase begins with Chicago and the Red Bulls, and San Jose heading to Vancouver. The Quakes drew the ‘Caps just over a week ago, on Oct. 15.

First round
(E3) Chicago vs. (E6) New York Red Bulls — 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday
(W3) Vancouver vs. (W6) San Jose — 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday
(E4) Atlanta vs. (E5) Columbus — 7 p.m. ET Wednesday
(W4) Houston vs. (W5) Sporting KC — 9:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Conference semifinals
(W1) Portland vs.  San Jose, Houston, or Sporting KC
(W2) Seattle vs. Houston, Sporting KC, or Vancouver
(E1) Toronto vs. New York Red Bulls, Atlanta, or Columbus
(E2) New York City vs. Atlanta, Columbus, or Chicago

Conference finals
Eastern Conference — Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 or 29
Western Conference — Nov. 21 and Nov. 30

MLS Cup Final
At finalist with best record — 4 p.m. ET Dec. 9

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Who will replace Koeman at Everton?

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Where will Everton turn in search of their next manager?

U23s coach David Unsworth is the front-runner to take over, according to several betting sites — not that we’d partake in such madness — and the 44-year-old boasts 312 career appaearances for the Toffees.

[ MORE: Everton sacks Ronald Koeman ]

As for who else could be in frame for the gig, there are names (quite) familiar and new.

David Moyes — This one is an eyebrow-raiser, as Moyes has had little if any success since leaving Everton and ended his time at Sunderland with a sexist takedown of a journalist. But the 54-year-old Scot spent more than 11 years at Everton before leaving for Manchester United, and it’s not like the Toffees wanted him to skip town. He was thrice League Manager of the Year at Goodison Park.

Sean Dyche — The Burnley boss has overachieved time and again at Turf Moor, and the Clarets are one of the smallest outfits the Premier League has ever seen. A move to Everton could be a big and safe enough step to warrant his affection.

Carlo Ancelotti — He’s said he’s not returning to a manager’s seat this season, but the Italian may relish the chance to take a skillful team and organize it into its rightful potential. And we think he’s do a magnificent job.

Chris Coleman — He’s waffled on staying in his position at Wales, and the club’s absence from this summer’s World Cup must have him eyeing the club scene. He’s hasn’t led a club since 2012, having led AEL, Coventry City, Real Sociedad, and Fulham.

Phil Neville — The Manchester United and Everton playing legend doesn’t have first chair experience, but may be able to rally the troops. His latest stint was as an assistant in brother Gary’s tough, short campaign at Valencia.

Although… his recent prediction record isn’t hot.

Longshots: Mikel Arteta, Luis Enrique, Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Sam Allardyce, Manuel Pellegrini, Frank De Boer.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Three seriously injured, 120 detained in Bruges hooligan riot

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BRUSSELS (AP) Authorities are investigating a hooligan riot which seriously injured three people and forced Brugge police to detain 120 following the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp.

[ MORE: Mbappe wins Golden Boy ]

Local police chief Dirk Van Nuffel says one policeman was among the seriously wounded as authorities sought to contain a brawl between Belgian fans reinforced by others who had come from the Netherlands.

By Monday morning all were released but investigators were still seeking to see who was at the core of the fighting. Van Nuffel says such hooligan fighting “hadn’t been seen for years.”

Everton fires Ronald Koeman


A 5-2 home loss versus Arsenal sent Everton into the Premier League drop zone, and that’s apparently a bridge too far for the Toffees when it comes to their managerial position.

Ronald Koeman is out at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Who will replace him? ]

Everton sits 18th in the Premier League with eight points, it’s minus-11 goal differential second-worst in the top flight. Its 18 goals conceded are third-worst, and only three clubs have scored fewer goals than its seven.

The Toffees won two rounds in the Europa League, beating Ružomberok and Hajduk Split, but have lost to Atalanta and Lyon while drawing Apollon Limassol in Group E play.

Everton faces Chelsea in League Cup play on Wednesday before a critical early season match at Leicester City on Sunday.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Follow @NicholasMendola