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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.

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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.”

Bravo fit again, but will he start Chile’s Confed Cup group finale?

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MOSCOW (AP) Claudio Bravo is fit again and could start in goal against Australia at the Confederations Cup on Sunday, Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said Saturday.

Bravo – who is Chile’s joint most-capped player with Alexis Sanchez – hasn’t played since April 27, when he injured his calf for Manchester City in a derby game with Manchester United.

“Claudio is fit, he’s managed to train the last couple of days just like his other teammates,” Pizzi said. “He’s ready and available to play.”

Pizzi brushed off concerns about a lack of match fitness, saying that “quite obviously we take into account that factor” but players like Bravo are “are of such good quality that it isn’t that important they haven’t played in the last couple of months.”

Stand-in Johnny Herrera played in Chile’s 2-0 group stage win over Cameroon and Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Germany.

Gary Medel was substituted with a minor injury while playing in defense for Chile against Germany. Teammate Francisco Silva said Saturday that Medel had complained of “a very small muscle contraction issue” but was now fit.

Pizzi said he will aim to tire out Australia with Chile’s trademark all-action style, even though his team struggled for energy in the latter stages against Germany.

“This energy drop we had in the second half didn’t damage us too much because the opposing team couldn’t maintain a high pace because of the demands we’d imposed on them,” Pizzi said of the Germany game.

“We’re going to try to get (the Australians) tired as well and use this to beat our opponent, and we hope this is going to translate into goals.”

USMNT’s Wood extends Hamburg contract through 2021

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HAMBURG, Germany (AP) American forward Bobby Wood extended his contract with Bundesliga side Hamburger SV on Saturday to 2021.

Wood, who joined Hamburg from second-tier Union Berlin, scored five goals and set up two more in 28 Bundesliga games. He had 17 goals in 31 second-division games for Union the season before.

“Not only his goals count for us, but his readiness to run and challenge,” Hamburg sporting director Jens Todt said. “Bobby is a key player for our offense and a real team player.”

Wood has eight goals in 32 appearances for the United States.

MLS Snapshot: NYCFC run rampant on Red Bulls, win 2-0

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The game in 100 words (or less): The only thing standing in the way of New York City FC avenging their infamous 7-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls with a lopsided demolition job of their own, on Saturday, was an otherworldly goalkeeping performance from Luis Robles. It was the Red Bulls shot-stopper, with his four saves on the afternoon (three of them coming in spectacular fashion), who kept Jesse Marsch’s side within touching distance for more than an hour. Jack Harrison was denied early on by Robles, but got the better of him not long later for the game’s opening goal. Heroics from Robles kept the score at 1-0 for another 32 minutes, before Ben Sweat’s (accidental?) header made it 2-0 in the 65th minute. The Red Bulls, on the other hand, managed their first shot on target in the 80th minute. That’s three wins in a row for NYCFC, who go seven points clear of their Hudson River rivals and keep Toronto FC in sight at the top of the league table, five points ahead.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

18′ — Robles goes full-stretch to deny Harrison — David Villa’s vision and Rodney Wallace‘s hold-play created the chance for Harrison, but Luis Robles’ acrobatics denied the 20-year-old Englishman in spectacular fashion.

33′ — Harrison not to be denied this time — Sweat delivered the ball to Harrison near the top of the box, and the second-year man did everything right with what’s a really, really difficult chance to take — facing away from goal, first-time, ball traveling across the goalkeeper, upper-90 to the far post.

65′ — Sweat loops a header past Robles for 2-0 — Sweat probably didn’t mean it, but the ball hit the back of the net, and that’s all that matters. Not a bad time to score your first MLS goal, either.

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Man of the match: Luis Robles

Goalscorers: Harrison (33′), Sweat (65′)

Watford signs Will Hughes from Derby County

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Watford has completed the capture of 22-year-old central midfielder Will Hughes, a fantastic transfer for one of England’s younger talents.

Hughes, despite his young age, racked up 189 appearances for Derby County (despite missing significant time in 2015 for an ACL tear) and now gets his first shot at the Premier League, and with it potentially a chance to push his way into the England fold. Hughes has been a staple for the England youth system, making 22 appearances for the country’s U-21 side but is yet to feature for the senior team.

The fee for the transfer was undisclosed but reports have tabbed the amount at around $10 million.

Hughes came close to making the Premier League with Derby County on multiple occasions, reaching the Championship playoffs in both 2014 and 2016. Now, he’ll battle the likes of Valon Behrami, Tom Cleverley, Etienne Capoue, Abdoulaye Doucoure for a spot in Watford’s midfield.

The club release confirmed that Hughes has not yet completed his medical, and will do so when he returns to the U.K. from competing in the U-21 European Championships in Poland.