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Should Antonio Conte be angry with Chelsea’s transfer dealings?

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After Romelu Lukaku’s move to Chelsea now appears to be off and the Everton star heading to Manchester United, there’s no surprise reports are circulating that Antonio Conte is an unhappy man.

Does he have the right to be?

[ MORE: Pogba, Lukaku train in LA ]

With Chelsea only signing Willy Caballero on a free transfer so far this summer, it’s been a slow start to the transfer window for the reigning Premier League champs and Conte has every right to be frustrated. There is still time to turn things around, but there’s no denying the start to his and Chelsea’s summer hasn’t been good.

Diego Costa‘s situation has undeniably made the task for Conte, and Technical Director Michael Emenalo, much harder as rivals now know that Costa is no longer wanted in west London (partly Conte’s fault with his texting) and the 28-year-old is closing in a move back to Atletico Madrid. Yet, even with a princely sum incoming for Costa, the Blues will have to pay over the odds for a new striker.

Alvaro Morata and Andrea Belotti from Torino are said to be Conte’s top two striking targets after seemingly losing out on Lukaku, but other deals have not been done.

Tiemoue Bakayako will likely arrive from AS Monaco with Nemanja Matic heading to Manchester United but that deal has dragged on, while talks still continue over signing Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma and Alex Sandro from Juventus.

So, it’s not all doom and gloom for Conte but it’s not ideal with a defining season coming up for the Italian coach as he looks to replicate the incredible success of his debut season in England.

The way he managed to string together a battered and bruised Chelsea side last season and add the unfancied duo of David Luiz and Marcos Alonso to the mix expertly surely should have meant Chelsea’s board would deliver three to four top class players for him to have at his disposal on day one of preseason.

Chelsea return to training at Cobham next Monday and it seems likely that Conte won’t have his top target in Lukaku, while deals for Morata, Belotti, Sandro and Rudiger appear some way from completion with Virgil Van Dijk‘s name disappearing from the reckoning altogether.

With Chelsea’s expectant fans wanting not only a PL title repeat but also craving success in Europe, Conte will want answers from the hierarchy as to why they have yet to strengthen considerably this summer as the added difficulty of juggling a UEFA Champions League campaign will no doubt impact his squad.

When you look back at Chelsea’s past they’ve done business late in the window with Luiz and Alonso arriving on Deadline Day in a real surprise last summer, but before that the arrival of Costa, Matic and Cesc Fabregas ahead of the 2014-15 campaign led to a title-winning season under Jose Mourinho.

There is no simple formula to building a squad and sometimes the dominoes have to fall at the right time in order for a new player to arrive. They haven’t fallen in Chelsea’s favor so far this summer.

Conte’s argument will be that his success last season should have led to Chelsea spending big and taking decisive action early in the transfer window. Up until now they’ve been stumbling around and have now lost out on Lukaku.

With Inter Milan and others said to be offering Conte a huge deal to join them, Chelsea’s boss has yet to sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge and this transfer inactivity may have him questioning exactly how much he will be backed when it comes to recruitment as Emenalo is a trusted ally of owner Roman Abramovich and some blame him for the lackluster deals following Chelsea’s title win in 2014-15 which then led to Mourinho’s firing.

The former has a policy of bringing in youngsters and selling or loaning them on for a big profit to delight the hierarchy, plus he has sold on the likes of Oscar, Ramires and Lukaku for big fees in the past to fund future signings.

If Chelsea really want to join Europe’s elite once again they’ll need to spend like it instead of wheeling and dealing to keep similar squad numbers and still make a profit on transfer deals. With many squad players departing over the summer — John Terry, Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake to name a few — Conte has a challenge to not only add quality but also strength in depth to challenge on four fronts this season.

Conte and his staff will be disappointed to have not landed Lukaku as Costa’s departure looms and the reigning PL champs will have to start acting quickly in the transfer window if they want to continue their success.

The next five weeks of preseason will be crucial in Conte, and Chelsea’s, short-term future.

WATCH: Camila’s wicked swerving goal for Brazil

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The Tournament of Nations got underway earlier Thursday, with Brazil and Japan drawing 1-1 in Seattle.

While some in the crowd may’ve been waiting to see the United States women’s national team and Australia in the second game of the twin bill, they got an absolute treat from Brazil’s Camila.

[ MORE: Galaxy’s season-changing signing ]

The Orlando Pride midfielder is yet to scoop up 10 caps, but blasted this 25-yard goal home with a wicked outside bend.

The aesthetics are terrific.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).

Joey Barton’s gambling ban lowered by almost 5 months

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Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for betting on almost 1,300 soccer-related events has been lowered to 13 months and one week.

Putting aside the hilarity of grown men and women discussing whether an extra week was necessary, the alteration means he’ll be eligible to return to football on June 1, 2018.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.

Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:

The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.

“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”

Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.

We may see him on the field in August 2018.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

[ MORE: Nainggolan staying at Roma ]

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.