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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Mbappe “not afraid to leave”

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Kylian Mbappe is the hottest name in world football right now, and the mercurial 18-year-old Frenchman gave some hints to his summer plans on Tuesday.

Speaking at the French Football Federation’s headquarters in Clairefontaine, France while with the French National Team, Mbappe said that he was not afraid to leave Monaco this summer but that any transfer move would be his decision alone.

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“It does not scare me to leave,” Mbappe said in response to a question about risking a transfer in a World Cup year, with the possibility of him playing less at a bigger club or getting injured. French teammate Anthony Martial‘s move from Monaco to Manchester United has so far been a dud, and Martial could be outside the France World Cup squad unless he regains a regular place in the Red Devils starting XI.

Mbappe is currently being linked with a nearly nine-figure transfer move to Manchester United and Real Madrid after exploding on the scene this past year, leading Monaco to the UEFA Champions League semifinals and scoring 21 goals in 23 starts in both the Champions League and Ligue 1.

France National Team coach Didier Deschamps was recently quoted saying he wouldn’t advise Mbappe to leave Monaco just yet. Mbappe also said recently that his first idol in soccer was current Real Madrid coach Zenedine Zidane, but the winger poured cold water on the rumors that popped up over that comment.

“I dreamed of Zidane player, not Zidane the coach,” Mbappe said. “He is a great coach who immediately got results. He is developing. But it was the player who made me dream.”

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Manchester United to reject De Gea bids

Manchester United are set to hold on to its star goalkeeper this summer.

With Real Madrid once again rumored to make a new bid for the Spanish international David De Gea, Manchester United will reportedly stand firm in their desire to keep De Gea for the foreseeable future, according to The Guardian.

De Gea nearly moved to Real Madrid on transfer deadline day in 2015 before the deal broke down in the 11th hour, a late fax to Manchester United in time reportedly scuttling the move.

De Gea, Manchester United’s starting goalkeeper and arguably the first name on the team sheet, earned 14 clean sheets in 16 wins and 35 appearances this past Premier League season. Even with Argentina National Team goalkeeper Sergio Romero in reserve, Manchester United appear unwilling to part with one of the Premier League’s top goalkeepers.


De Rossi extends with Roma

While one AS Roma legend is leaving the field this summer, another is staying around for at least another two years.

AS Roma announced Wednesday that veteran midfielder Daniele De Rossi has signed a two-year contract extension. The news comes just four days after talismanic forward and the face of the team, Francesco Totti, gave his farewell to the Roma fans and his teammates and coaches.

Like Totti, De Rossi has only played for Roma in his career, and while he has struggled at times with form and injury during his career, he’s been one of Roma’s most important players as the club made its way back into the Champions League and giving Juventus a serious challenge in Serie A.

De Rossi said last April that he somewhat regretted not making a move to the Premier League or Spain’s La Liga to get to experience life in those countries “outside the stadiums.”

The 33-year-old has played 561 times for the Giallorossi and has scored 59 goals.

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 Sports.com,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 Sports.com 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 NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

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


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Tuesday
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

Wednesday
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.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

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.

(more…)

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: