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Transfer news: Gareth Bale to Man United; Keane to Liverpool

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Gareth Bale will sign for Manchester United this summer if they qualify for the UEFA Champions League, according to reports in Diario Gol.

[ MORE: Gilmour signs for Chelsea ]

The report states that Real’s president, Florentino Perez, has become increasingly impatient with Bale’s injury issues and will be allowed to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.

Bale, 27, was said to be close to joining United in the summer of 2013 when he moved to Real from Tottenham Hotspur for a then world-record transfer fee but instead joined Real and he’s had incredible success over the past four seasons.

The Welsh international has suffered recurring calf injuries in recent weeks which saw him limp out of the El Clasico defeat to Barcelona last month. Bale has scored nine times in 24 starts for Real Madrid this season but if he fancies a move back to the Premier League after two UEFA Champions League titles in three full seasons in Spain, then now could be a good time as he’d surely be United’s main attacking threat up top with Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Co. feeding him plenty of chances.

It would take a huge sum to sign Bale but United have the cash, but could they sign both Bale and Antoine Griezmann this summer? Bale is perhaps the next in line at Real to become the main man after Cristiano Ronaldo but with the Portuguese superstar showing no signs of slowing down, perhaps Bale is thinking about moving to United and being the undisputed top dog.


A report in the Daily Mirror claims that Liverpool are winning the race to sign Man United product Michael Keane from Burnley for $32 million.

[ MORE: Premier League permutations ]

Keane, 24, has become one of the most sought after defenders in the Premier League as the United academy product is expected to leave Turf Moor this summer with just a year left on his contract.

After recently making his England debut and excelling, the powerfully poised center back has a host of offers with United, Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea all said to be monitoring his situation closely. However, the report states that Klopp has made Keane his top defensive target this summer as he looks to rebuild a defense which has once again flattered to deceive this season.

With many stating that Virgil Van Dijk is Liverpool’s main defensive target, Southampton’s center back is reportedly valued at over $65 million by Saints. That’s double the price of Keane.

Keane is able to play in either a traditional four-man defense or as part of a three-man backline and his ability to bring the ball out of defense has seen him win many admirers. It must be noted that Keane is a born and bred Manchester United fan, along with his family, so him signing for United’s bitter rivals Liverpool would certainly raise plenty of eyebrows.

The big factor for Keane is that wherever he goes this summer he has to be a regular. Will he get that at United or Liverpool? Maybe. But if he was to sign for a club like Leicester City (who he joined on loan from United in the past), Everton or Southampton then he’d obviously be a regular straight away. Keane has excelled at Burnley after playing regularly in each of the last two seasons and his decision over where he goes next should be all about where he will play the most.

Wenger called ref Dean “not honest,” “a disgrace” to earn ban

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LONDON (AP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accused a referee of being “not honest” and called him “a disgrace” in a rant inside the match officials’ changing room that led to a three-match touchline ban for one of English soccer’s most experienced coaches.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

The English Football Association published Tuesday the written reasons behind its decision to ban Wenger for being abusive toward referee Mike Dean after Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Dec. 31.

In his match report given to the FA, Dean said Wenger “was pointing aggressively at me saying, ‘You’re not honest’ on numerous occasions.” Dean then said Wenger said “you’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace.”

[ MORE: Newcastle sale talks collapse — Staveley, not Ashley, out ]

Wenger had been incensed at Calum Chambers being penalized for a handball and West Brom converting the resulting penalty to equalize late in the game.

The FA said “there is simply no justification for this behavior” and considered a stadium ban for Wenger.

Wenger was also fined $54,200 for his conduct.

FA Cup: Leicester, West Ham survive replays to reach 4th round

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Two more Premier League sides reached the fourth round of the 2017-18 FA Cup on Tuesday, winning their respective replays and joining 10 other top-flight clubs already through to the next round…

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Leicester City 2-0 Fleetwood Town

Kelechi Iheanacho moved to Leicester from Manchester City for $33 million this summer and has, through his first half-season in the East Midlands, failed to live up to that price tag. In nine PL appearances, he is yet to score his first league goal. Tuesday, however, saw the 21-year-old Nigerian international put forth a bit production and performance more befitting a player of his promise and pedigree.

Manager Claude Puel picked a side consisting of first-team regulars and lesser-used squad players for the Foxes FA Cup third-round replay against League One side Fleetwood Town. It was Iheanacho, who started alongside/just behind target man Islam Slimani, who shown brightest with a pair of goals, in the 43rd and 77th minutes, to send Leicester into the fourth round. Iheanacho’s second, the one that put the game away for Leicester, was originally ruled out for offside, but was eventually after consultation of the video-assistant referee.

Leicester will travel to League One side Peterborough in the fourth round, on Sat. Jan. 27.

[ MORE: Newcastle sale talks collapse — Staveley, not Ashley, out ]

West Ham United 1-0 (AET) Shrewsbury Town

It took far longer than Hammers fans would have liked — or expected — but West Ham, over the course of 120 minutes, survived the Cupset bid of third-division Shrewsbury Town. With eight minutes remaining before Tuesday’s replay went to penalty kicks at the London Stadium, 21-year-old defender Reece Burke fired home from inside the box to break the scoreless deadlock.

West Ham will be away to the winner of the replay between Bournemouth and Wigan Athletic (Wednesday), on Sat. Jan. 27.

Elsewhere in FA Cup replay action

Mansfield Town 1-4 Cardiff City
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Carlisle United
Reading 3-0 Stevenage

Wednesday’s FA Cup replay schedule

Chelsea vs. Norwich City — 2:45 p.m. ET
Swansea City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers — 2:45 p.m. ET
Wigan Athletic vs. Bournemouth — 2:45 p.m. ET

Report: Newcastle sale talks between Ashley, Staveley collapse

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Talks between Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley over the much-desired and -rumored sale of Newcastle United are off, according to a report from Sky Sports and various other UK news outlets.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Sky has quoted a source close to Ashley as having said: “Attempts to reach a deal (with Staveley) have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time.” (Full quote below)

Ashley, the club’s current and long-beleaguered owner, has been seeking a potential buyer since putting the club up for sale back in October. Staveley emerged as the front-runner (the only runner, perhaps) in the days following Ashley’s announcement, and reportedly tabled an offer of $335 million in early December before reportedly offering something closer to $400 million a couple weeks later.

Ashley selling the club — and doing so before the end of the January transfer window, which now appears nigh impossible — appeared to be one the few scenarios in which Rafa Benitez would remain the Magpies’ manager beyond the end of the current Premier League season (Newcastle currently sit 15th, just three points clear of relegation) after constant rumors of his discontent and lack of financial backing last summer.

LIVE, FA Cup replays: West Ham, Leicester on upset alert

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Five FA Cup third round replays take place on Tuesday with two Premier League clubs on upset alert.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Leicester City and West Ham United both host third-tier opponents, with the Hammers welcoming Shrewsbury to the London Stadium and Leicester hosting Jamie Vardy‘s former club Fleetwood.

Both Claude Puel and David Moyes have named strong teams to try and breeze through to the fourth round. You can follow commentary on all five games by clicking on the link above and we will have reaction right here on Pro Soccer Talk.

[ MORE: FA Cup fourth round draw in full ]

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday, with all the games kicking off at 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise stated.


Tuesday’s FA Cup replay schedule

Leicester City vs. Fleetwood Town
Mansfield Town vs. Cardiff City
Reading vs. Stevenage Town – 3pm
Sheffield Wednesday vs. Carlisle United
West Ham United vs. Shrewsbury