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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Lindelof to Man Utd and more

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With the international season in full swing, clubs are hoping to complete deals that will see them compete at a higher level once next season starts.

Manchester United looks to be quick off the blocks, with a deal for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof apparently complete. Multiple outlets are reporting that the deal is fully done, and that it will become official on Wednesday after his international duty with Sweden is complete and he can fly to Manchester to perform the medical.

According to the reports, the purchase will cost Manchester United around $45 million. Lindelof, a 22-year-old center-back with 12 international caps to his name, was a player that Jose Mourinho was reportedly in for last winter, but instead the United boss pulled his offer with the squad already full.


With Liverpool still shaking off the embarrassment of the Virgil Van Dijk disaster, there are rumors that the Reds have begun to turn the gears on a play for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The 22-year-old Serbian has 11 international caps and was a regular for Lazio in midfield last season as the club finished 5th in Serie A.

The process has just begun, with Liverpool enquiring about Milinkovic-Savic’s availability, but according to the player’s agent, there are “many big clubs talking about him” (of course he would say that). The Serbian’s agent did say Juventus was not one of those suitors, and that the player is happy at Lazio, having just signed a new contract in April that lasts through the summer of 2022.

Given his brand new contract and likely interest elsewhere, it will be costly for Liverpool to bring the Serbian midfielder to Anfield. It also might behoove Liverpool to let the player continue to develop, as he shows top ability both with the ball at his feet and in the air, but still has some growing to do, as evident by his 73% passing accuracy last season over 34 Serie A appearances.


Reports in Russia have suggested that Arsenal is close to signing 21-year-old midfielder Aleksandr Golovin from CSKA Moscow. The youngster is highly experienced for his age, with 12 international caps under his belt plus two full Russian league seasons which saw CSKA finish top of the table in 2016 followed by a second-place finish this past year.

According to the report, Golovin would cost Arsenal just $13 million.

The young Russian is a superb tackler and solid passer out in front of the back line, and has a far better disciplinary record than the incumbent Arsenal midfielders. While the hope is that Golovin would eventually challenge both Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka for the holding midfield spot, initially CSKA is reportedly interested in taking Golovin back on loan for a season should the deal go through. The report also mentions Hull City as a possible loan destination should Arsenal decide to keep him in England.


Spurs midfielder Dele Alli has spoken about his future, in the hopes of easing Tottenham fans who may have fears of him leaving. While the young England international would not rule out any future move – even something this summer – he wanted to make sure Spurs fans knew where his head was at.

“I think people get too worried about where they are going to eventually end up,” Alli told The Guardian. “They lose focus on the journey, and are not enjoying it.”

There are endless rumors that Real Madrid are interested in the 21-year-old star, but nothing has come of that yet.

“I’m signed to Tottenham and I’m enjoying it. Who knows where I am going to end up, whether I stay at Tottenham for the rest of my career or if I do happen to go somewhere else. I’m sure if it happens, if I do go somewhere else, it will be at a time when I think that’s what’s needed. But I am just looking forward to enjoying the journey.”

UCL AT HALF: Spurs level at Real; Liverpool, Man City lead (video)

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Premier League sides are mostly enjoying their football this Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Liverpool is clobbering hosts Maribor, Man City needed little time to take lead against critical darlings Napoli, and Spurs have forced Real Madrid into an own goal at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Raphael Varane’s plans to mark Harry Kane were subverted by the French defender’s unwitting legs, but Serge Aurier chopped down Toni Kroos in the 42nd minute for a yellow card and penalty that Cristiano Ronaldo sent beyond the reach of Spurs backstop Hugo Lloris.

Manchester City 2-0 Napoli

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus scored in the ninth and 13th minutes as City has been an unwelcoming host for the Neapolitan side. Ederson stopped a Dries Mertens penalty, adding insult to Napoli’s twin concessions.

Monaco 1-1 Besiktas

Radamel Falcao with the lone goal of the contest, but reported Newcastle target Cenk Tosun has answered for the Turkish powers.

Feyenoord 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Ex-Watford man Steven Berghuis and Bernard have traded goals at De Kuip.

Maribor 0-4 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds are sending their finishing demons off a cliff, with goals from Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah finding the scoreboard before the match was 20 minutes old. Salah added another before the break.

Elsewhere
APOEL Nicosia 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
Spartak Moscow 1-1 Sevilla
RB Leipzig 3-2 Porto

Columbus Crew owner may move soccer team to Austin, Texas

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The owner of the Crew SC says the team is no longer sustainable and will move to Austin, Texas, unless a new, privately-financed stadium is built in downtown Columbus.

Anthony Precourt, whose Precourt Sports Ventures has owned the Major League Soccer club since 2013, said Tuesday the Crew need more fan and financial support to compete in the growing league, and a new stadium in the urban center is the only way to make it work. The Crew currently play in 17-year-old Mapfre Stadium, about 4 miles north of downtown Columbus.

[ MORE: Leicester sacks Shakespeare ]

The team will be back in Ohio’s capital city for 2018, Precourt said, but its future beyond that depends on which city steps up first.

“Despite all the efforts to move the needle beyond on-the-field success, our business is struggling to keep pace with the rising standards of major league soccer,” Precourt said in a conference call with reporters. “The club historically and presently has challenges with match-day attendance, with growing our season-ticket base, with demand for corporate sponsorship and with relevance. The stadium and site are challenges in Columbus.”

The Crew is 20th in attendance this season out of 22 MLS teams with an average of 15,439, despite making the playoffs. The capacity is 19,968.

Austin is the largest market in North America without a major league sports franchise, and the city is receptive. Precourt declined to comment about any talks that could result in a new downtown soccer-specific stadium there. He dispelled rumors that the team has an agreement to play temporarily at the University of Texas stadium in 2019 while a new stadium is built.

Precourt called Austin “the most attractive untapped market in the United States for MLS soccer.” The city already has submitted a bid for an MLS expansion team.

[ VIDEO: Top 25 moments in PL history ]

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said he had met with team ownership about solutions to keep the team in the city but complained that he didn’t get “full engagement.” City officials didn’t know about a potential move until the public announcement Tuesday, he said.

“We were surprised to learn of their decision in this way,” Ginther said in a statement. “Losing the Crew to another city would be a huge disappointment to their loyal and growing fan base in Columbus.”

Alex Fischer of the Columbus Partnership, a consortium of CEOs and business leaders, told The Columbus Dispatch that a group of business leaders approached Precourt with offers to buy Crew SC outright and to go into a 50-50 partnership, both of which were rejected. But Precourt said Tuesday that his discussions with potential investors in the team were all attached to a plan for a new stadium.

Precourt said he approached Columbus business leaders last year and was clear about the problems.

“We have engaged the community privately since the beginning of 2016 about our business issues, and made it clear that we would potentially start to explore strategic alternatives if the business didn’t improve,” he said.

He said three potential stadium sites have been identified in Columbus, but he declined to comment on them.

“We are not asking for public tax dollars, and we are not asking either city to build a stadium for us,” he said.

UCL, LIVE: Tottenham vs. Real Madrid; Man City, Liverpool in action

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Three Premier League teams are in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday and they are involved in some huge matches across Europe.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Tottenham Hotspur head to reigning European champions Real Madrid in Group H with both teams winning their opening two group games. Can Harry Kane and Co. stun the Santiago Bernabeu?

Manchester City host Napoli in Group F in what looks like a very tasty game in Group F and Liverpool head to Maribr in a must-win game in Group E after they drew their opening two matches.

Elsewhere, FC Porto’s trip to RB Leipzig looks set to be an intriguing clash in Group G.

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, which all kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET and you can follow all the action live by clicking on the link above.

[ MORE: Champions League standings


Tuesday’s UCL games

Group E
Spartak Moscow vs. Sevilla
Maribor vs. Liverpool

Group F
Man City vs. Napoli
Feyenoord vs. Shakthar Donetsk

Group G
RB Leipzig vs. FC Porto
Monaco vs. Besiktas

Group H
APOEL vs. Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Top 25 moments in Premier League history: 6-4

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Premier League we thought it would be great to count down our top 25 moments from a quarter of a century of action.

[ VIDEO: Top 25 moments in PL history ]

Each week we will release our best moments and you can keep track of the full list here.

Below are numbers 6-4 as we enter the top five moments in PL history.


6 – Wayne Rooney‘s score a stunning first PL goal for Everton vs. Arsenal in 2002

5 – Man United fight back from 3-0 down v Tottenham in 2001

4 – Liverpool vs. Newcastle United battles in the mid 1990s