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Transfer Rumor Wrap: Morata moving to Man United; Mendy saga continues

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Manchester United looks closer to signing one of its top summer targets.

According to a report in The Telegraph, Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata has agreed to move to Manchester United and now all that awaits is the clubs agreeing on a transfer fee followed signing of the contract. The report adds that Morata has agreed in principle on personal terms with Manchester United.

[MORE: USMNT player ratings]

Morata had also been pursued by AC Milan but the Spaniard squashed those rumors, saying if he returned to Serie A it would only be to rejoin Juventus.

The reports claim that Manchester United will have to fork over at least $76 million for the Spanish international, who started just 14 times for Real Madrid in La Liga last season. He scored 20 goals in all competitions.

Manchester United is looking for Morata to lead the line next season both in the Premier League as well as in the UEFA Champions League. Morata will in effect replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who looks unlikely to stay with the club.

Here’s some more transfer stories to catch up on from around the world:

Mendy won’t rush decision

Monaco youngster Benjamin Mendy isn’t ready to sign on the dotted line and leave France for bigger riches just yet, according to Sky Sports News.

The pacey 22-year-old French left back is a target of Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus and will reportedly cost a team at least $50 million to sign.

Manchester City appeared close to signing Mendy a few weeks ago but the France international has decided to take his time on his future, leaving clubs waiting. Coming off a thrilling Ligue 1-winning season, Mendy would inject pace and superb crossing ability into the squad of whichever team he joins.

The report says it’s likely that Mendy does depart Monaco this summer, following in the footsteps of Bernardo Silva, who has transferred to Manchester City.

Gladbach signs Swiss talent Zakaria

Borussia Mönchengladbach is bringing one of the bright future stars of Switzerland to the Bundesliga.

Mönchengladbach completed the signing Friday of 20-year-old Denis Zakaria from BSC Young Boys in the Swiss Super League for a reported $11.2 million. Zakaria signed a contract through 2022, pending he passes a medical.

The holding midfielder, who’s already been capped by the senior Swiss national team on three occasions, scored one goal in 23 league matches this past season.

“He is a player who has incredible potential,” Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl told the team’s website. “Denis is a robust, very fast, two-strong midfielder who can develop an incredible dynamic in the offensive and has an incredible pace in the midfield.”

Adidas reveals away kits for Mexico, Argentina, 7 other World Cup squads

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Fans of El Tri, La Albiceleste, Die Mannschaft and more can now get their hands on another set of 2018 World Cup jerseys.

Adidas unveiled the latest designs for the away kits of nine World Cup squads, including Mexico, Argentina and the defending champions Germany, with some of the team’s star players modeling the kits. Carlos Vela, Lionel Messi and Toni Kroos are all pictured in Adidas’ photo shoots with the new kits, and the uniforms are inspired by the kits worn at previous World Cups.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sweden, Colombia, Japan, Belgium and the host nation Russia are also included.

“For adidas, the World Cup has always been the stage to showcase some of our most iconic products, innovations and designs,” Juergen Rank, Senior Design Director said in a statement. “Many of these classic designs remain hugely popular with fans, and we want to continue to celebrate them while introducing new innovations, combining authenticity with progression.

“The new official World Cup away kits feature both the latest product technologies to ensure peak performance on the pitch and easily identifiable classic looks, making them perfectly suited to both the stadium and the street.”

Check out the latest kit release from Adidas below.

Ronaldo: “I always believe I am the best”

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You’ve got to appreciate the over-sized ego of Cristiano Ronaldo, even if it is deserved.

The 33-year-old Real Madrid striker was bestowed the 2017 Player of the Year award from the Portugal FA, earning 65 percent of the vote. But more than winning yet another trophy to add to his burgeoning case was what he told the media after accepting the award.

“We have to defend what is ours because there is always a Portuguese in the fight (for the top awards),” Ronaldo said, via AS. “I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year.”

Ronaldo did score 42 goals last year for Real Madrid and has scored 18 goals in 2018 alone already for Los Blancos as the club look to go back-to-back-to-back in the UEFA Champions League.

Miazga: “We’re all ready to make an impression” with USMNT

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Last October, for reasons unknown, Matt Miazga didn’t make the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for its final two World Cup qualifiers.

Five months later, he’s risen to the top of the centerback depth chart.

[MORE: Digging into the USMNT roster]

The hulking centerback spoke on Tuesday as the USMNT started off its training camp in Cary, N.C., noting that the youth-laden squad wanted to make an impression to stay in the picture moving forward. With four years until the next World Cup and still more than a year until competitive matches, there is still plenty of shuffling and expanding of the player pool to do before then.

Have a listen to Miazga and enjoy the sights and sounds of the USMNT training camp ahead of its friendly match against Paraguay.


Banker Gaetano Micciche elected Serie A president

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MILAN (AP) Bank boss Gaetano Micciche has been elected president of Serie A.

Micciche, the president of Banca IMI, was chosen unanimously on Monday by the Italian league’s 20 clubs.

He succeeds Maurizio Beretta, who left the position nearly a year ago.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

The league has been under emergency leadership, first by former Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio then by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago.

Malago recommended Micciche for the position.

The federation remains under emergency leadership following Tavecchio’s resignation in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.