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Report: Real Madrid to target four Chelsea stars

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A report from Spanish outlet Don Balon claims Real Madrid are keeping a close eye on four Chelsea stars ahead of the summer transfer window.

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The players who are said to be interesting the reigning European champs are Eden Hazard (Real are long-time admirers of his), plus N'Golo Kante, Thibaut Courtois and Marcos Alonso.

Rumors of Hazard and Courtois swapping Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu have been circulating for the past few months, while the report about Zinedine Zidane wanting to sign Kante last summer but being shut down by Real’s president Florentino Perez suggests they may go back in for the France superstar after his stunning debut season for Chelsea.

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Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester for $35 million last summer and you have to think he is now worth over $60 million following his stunning displays which suggest he will be named the PFA Player of the Year while also winning his second PL title in a row after clinching the crown with Leicester City last season. Kante and Casemiro would provide some serious steel to Real’s midfield but is there room for both of them with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos around too?

It’s always a fine balancing act for Zidane and also the definition of “champagne problems” when you consider he also has central players Kovacic, Isco and Marco Llorente around too.

As for Alonso, the former Real Madrid academy product has had a fairly nomadic career for a player of his age, spending time with three different clubs in England (Bolton, Sunderland, Chelsea) and then in Italy with Fiorentina. With Real currently having Marcelo at left back bringing in Alonso, who is entering his prime at 26, doesn’t seem like a sensible move for the player or the club.

He would be a good long-term option at left back and has shown his undoubted attacking ability to slot in to Real’s team perfectly, but given the fact he’s a regular for Chelsea at left-wing back it would seem slightly far-fetched to see him leave the Blues. That said, Chelsea have been linked with a move for former Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand, so maybe Alonso moving back to his boyhood club to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather makes sense.

The likelihood of one of these deals, let alone four, getting done seems remote considering all four players are key cogs in Antonio Conte‘s machine at Chelsea.

Hazard remains the jewel in Chelsea’s crown and if Real come in with a world-record bid for the Belgian attacker this summer it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

It’s not like Chelsea need the money but with Conte’s philosophy clear and everyone on board as they lead the Premier League by seven points, if heads are turned this summer he will soon realize.

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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More midweek action is coming up in the Premier League. Let the festive fun continue.

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The full TV schedule for this weekend is below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” at for all the goals as they go in. Goal Rush is available via NBC and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days. Enjoy.


2:45 p.m. ET: Burnley vs. Stoke City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM

2:45 p.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Manchester City – NBCSN [STREAM]
2:45.m. ET: Southampton vs. Leicester City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Newcastle United vs. Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Liverpool vs. West Brom – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Manchester United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Premier League notes: Wanyama, Bolasie return after long layoffs, Sakho injured

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Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.

Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.

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At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.


Report: Sporting KC on verge of signing French midfielder Croizet

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Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.

According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.

Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.

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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.

It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.

Arsenal lands Ostersunds in Europa League draw

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Arsenal will face a team with an English connection in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.

The Gunners were paired with Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League knockout stage draw Monday, with matches set to be played on February 15 and February 22. Ostersund are managed by Englishman Graham Potter, who played in the Championship and lower in England before starting his managerial career with Ostersunds in 2010 in the fourth tier of Swedish soccer.

[READ: UCL draw+analysis]

Ostersunds surprised many earlier this year winning the Swedish Cup to qualify for the Europa League, and then advanced out of a group that included Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.

It represents an interesting draw for Arsenal, which will have to balance the squad during a tough February. The weekend prior to the first-leg match is the second leg of the North London derby against Tottenham, and following the second match with Ostersunds is a showdown with Manchester City.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the draw shook out: