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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Salah medical, Giroud to West Ham

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Olivier Giroud has already stated this summer that he hopes to stay at Arsenal and fight for his place, saying, “my future is written at Arsenal for now.” He may not get the chance.

According to Sky Sports, West Ham is preparing a bid for the Frenchman, and the Gunners are keen to listen. Giroud lost his starting place last season as Arsene Wenger deployed Alexis Sanchez as a lone striker, and with Arsenal seemingly a favorite to sign Kylian Mbappe, Giroud’s place could become even more precarious.

The Sky report didn’t give any other details on the story, even admitting that Giroud is one of many attacking players that the Hammers are interested in, including Chelsea castaway Michy Batshuyai, Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho, and Middlesbrough lightning rod Adama Traore. Even so, the transfer would make sense given that Giroud wouldn’t have to move from London and the Hammers struggled with finishing last season.

The 30-year-old signed a new Arsenal contract in January that runs through the summer of 2020, so his future is firmly in the hands of his club.


According to Egyptian publication KingFut, AS Roma has successfully come to an agreement with Liverpool for winger Mohamed Salah and the 25-year-old will fly to England to complete his medical on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

The report states the agreed transfer fee amounts to a whopping $50 million, which includes bonuses. That would be a record sale for Roma, smashing their previous record set by the $36 million sale of Miralem Pjanic to Juventus just last summer.

Salah had a fantastic season this past campaign, scoring 15 Serie A goals for Roma and assisting 13 more despite missing six weeks on African Cup of Nations duty. The move also represents a return to the Premier League for the Egyptian, after he was unable to crack the Chelsea lineup, making just 13 Premier League appearances for the Blues in a loan-filled Chelsea stint.


There have been conflicting reports concerning AS Monaco midfielder Fabinho, but it appears now that Premier League clubs may have missed out. According to French television channel Telefoot, Fabinho has decided he wishes to join PSG next season, much to the dismay of his current club and those chasing his signature.

The report states that, because Fabinho is under contract at Monaco until 2021, the club retains most of the control in the transfer story, and therefore could potentially reject a bid from a Ligue 1 rival such as PSG, or at the very least could charge them a premium. However, the defending champions have already prepared for Fabinho’s imminent departure this summer, signing his replacement in Zulte Waregam midfielder Soualiho Meite.

Fabinho has reportedly been a target for a number of Premier League teams, most notably Manchester United, although recent reports state the Red Devils have made Eric Dier a priority over the 23-year-old Brazilian.


Don’t expect the Gianluigi Donnarumma saga to end anytime soon. After AC Milan released the details of their contract offer to the 18-year-old goalkeeper yesterday – which was rejected – today the Italian’s agent Mino Raiola has announced he will hold a press conference.

It’s unclear what he will discuss, and there are reports that he could leave the door open for AC Milan to continue negotiations. Donnarumma and Raiola have taken plenty of heat for the decision to leave the San Siro in search of a massive payday, and that only intensified after the club publicized its sizeable final offer.


Despite the near-completion of the deal for Mohamed Salah, Liverpool has been linked with yet another winger. According to Portuguese publication A Bola, the Reds are in for expensive Sporting wide player Gelson Martins.

The report values him at upwards of $56 million, saying that Liverpool has already seen an offer of $45 million rejected.

The 22-year-old Sporting youth product has six caps for the Portuguese national team and had a stellar season last year, notching six goals and 13 assists in the Portuguese top flight, helping Sporting to a third place finish.

Ligue 1: Falcao, Balde score to keep Monaco close to PSG

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PARIS (AP) French champion Monaco got back to winning ways with a 2-0 home win against Caen on Saturday.

Monaco lost three and drew one of its previous four games in all competitions. But coach Leonardo Jardim’s side was largely in control against a Caen side that started brightly and faded after Keita Balde’s opening goal and first for Monaco.

“It was important to win, to get a bit of confidence back,” Jardim said. “We’ve been working hard and the players were very serious today.”

Captain Radamel Falcao scored his league-leading 13th from the penalty spot in the 59th, confidently sending goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre the wrong way.

The win moved second-place Monaco within three points of Paris Saint-Germain, having played one game more. Unbeaten PSG is away at bitter rival Marseille on Sunday.

Falcao’s partnership with teen star Kylian Mbappe was crucial to Monaco’s charge to the league title and the Champions League semifinals last season. Mbappe left to join PSG in a high-profile move — as did several other key players — but Falcao’s new partnership with the unselfish Balde looks a promising one.

“We’ve lost a few players and we need a bit of time, it’s been a bit difficult for us,” Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic said. “I hope we can stay at the top of the table and that the young players can shine. We have a lot of quality here.”

Balde has been sharp in his handful of appearances since joining from Lazio in the offseason, but mainly as a link player and a provider.

This time, the Senegal forward finished off the move as he ran onto Thomas Lemar’s perfectly weighted pass into his path, cut across a defender on the edge of the penalty area and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.

Lemar almost created another goal when his corner was headed against the crossbar by Brazilian defender Jemerson late in the first half.

Falcao put the game beyond doubt from the spot after Slovenian midfielder Jan Repas fouled attacking midfielder Rony Lopes.


After a tricky start to his tenure at Nantes, Italian coach Claudio Ranieri has turned things around.

Nantes beat Guingamp 2-1 at home to move up to third place, extending Ranieri’s unbeaten run to eight matches after losing the first two.

Nantes, which scored through defender Chidozie Awaziem and midfielder Abdoulaye Toure, is just two points behind Monaco.

The 2 Robbies: Terriers Triumph And Chelsea Leave It Late

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Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe start today’s show off by discussing Huddersfield Town’s surprising win against Manchester United (00:20), Jose Mourinho’s measured post-match interview (03:50), praise Manchester City again (10:30), discuss Sean Dyche’s next move (16:10), analyze that exciting match between Chelsea and Watford (18:30) and finally, weigh in on Slaven Bilic’s future at West Ham United (27:30).

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

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Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

La Liga: Barca win to maintain lead, but Valencia won’t go away

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona regained a four-point cushion atop the Spanish league with a ho-hum 2-0 win over visiting Malaga and surging Valencia dismissed Sevilla 4-0 at home on Saturday.

Barcelona faced last-placed Malaga in the closing match of the day, with added pressure from second-placed Valencia, which has won five in a row.

Barcelona is unbeaten after starting with seven straight wins and drawing with Atletico Madrid last week.

Seldom-used Gerard Deulofeu opened the scoring for Barcelona after just two minutes, and Andres Iniesta celebrated his first of the season in the second half thanks to a brilliant assist by Lionel Messi.

Defending champion Real Madrid hosts Eibar on Sunday.

Barcelona benefited from a flagrant referee misjudgment to get its go-ahead goal against Malaga. Left back Lucas Digne was allowed to center the ball after it clearly crossed the byline, and Deulofeu acrobatically back-footed it inside the net.

Despite the blow, the visitors got back up and managed to neutralize Barcelona for most of the first half, but lost striker Diego Rolan just before the second period. The Uruguayan import was forced off by injury.

Without Rolan, Malaga lacked bite in its pressure of the home backline, and Barcelona was able to polish ball circulation and find Messi with more frequency.

Messi received a clean pass from defender Javier Mascherano, drew the defense, and dropped a perfect pass for Iniesta, whose shot was deflected by defender Roberto Rosales on its way to the upper left corner.

Malaga surrendered and Barcelona dominated the rest of the way.


Gonzalo Guedes opened the scoring for Valencia near halftime with a majestic strike from outside the box after deftly outmaneuvering two defenders on the chase.

Simone Zaza added his eighth league goal after the break with a spin and low cross shot. Santi Mina came off the bench and scored the third with just five minutes to go, finishing off a speedy counterattack for the hosts.

But the show was all Guedes, and the Portuguese midfielder rounded off his great game with the closer, subtly poking the ball over goalkeeper Sergio Rico in added time.

Sevilla has lost three in a row in all competitions. Managed by Eduardo Berizzo, the team started off red-hot in La Liga but has floundered lately, ranking fifth.

 

Serie A: Napoli’s perfect season ends after draw with Inter

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MILAN (AP) Napoli’s perfect start to Serie A finally came to an end on Saturday in an enthralling 0-0 home draw with Inter Milan, the only other unbeaten side in the Italian top flight.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Sunday preview — Spurs vs. Liverpool ]

There were plenty of chances at the San Paolo, and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was kept busier than his Napoli counterpart Pepe Reina.

It was the first time since April and a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo that Napoli has failed to win in Serie A.

Napoli remained top of the standings, two points above Inter and six above Juventus and Lazio, which face Udinese and Cagliari respectively on Sunday.

[ TACTICS SESSION: Inside the brilliant mind of Kevin De Bruyne ]

Napoli was looking for a ninth successive league win. It was boosted by Lorenzo Insigne passing fit to start after injuring a thigh on Tuesday in the Champions League defeat at Manchester City.

Inter was full of confidence after Mauro Icardi’s hat trick helped it win last week’s derby against AC Milan, but it hadn’t won in Naples in 20 years.

Napoli almost went in front but Handanovic pulled off a stunning double save to deny first Jose Callejon and then keep out Dries Mertens’ rebound attempt from point-blank range.

Handanovic then kept out an effort from Insigne following a great ball over the top from Marek Hamsik.

[ MORE: Mourinho — “We deserved the punishment of defeat” to Huddersfield ]

Inter went close shortly before halftime but Reina did well to fingertip Borja Valero’s close-range attempt over the bar.

Insigne had more chances after the break, going closest with a curling effort just past the right post.

Hamsik also fired narrowly wide, and Handanovic parried a powerful shot from substitute Piotr Zielinski.

Mertens should have won the match for Napoli in the final minute but Handanovic was again on hand to keep out his close-range volley.