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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Sanchez to Inter; Lemar to Arsenal

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Alexis Sanchez is wanted as the “poster boy” of Inter Milan, according to the Gazetta Dello Sport in Italy.

[ MORE: Lukaku, Pogba train in LA ]

Sanchez, 28, still hasn’t signed a new deal with the Gunners and the Chilean international has just 12 months on his current contract at the Emirates Stadium after scoring 30 goals and adding 13 assists in all competitions last season.

With Inter bankrolled by a new Chinese billionaires Suning, they are pushing to sign some of the top talent on the planet and want to make Sanchez their main man.

Manchester City are said to be the frontrunners for Sanchez’s signature with both Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain said to be shirking at paying Sanchez over $515,000 a week, the same amount he has reportedly requested from Arsenal.

Inter struggled to a seventh-place finish last season in Serie A but under new manager Luciano Spalletti they have big plans to challenge Juventus, AS Roma, Napoli and big-spending city rivals AC Milan for the league title.

Sanchez has played in Italy before as he began his European career at Udinese in 2006 before switching to Barcelona in 2011. Arsenal would much rather the Chilean superstar moved abroad than signed for a PL rival in Man City, so that could well be in Inter’s favor.

Does Sanchez want to go back to Italy though?


Arsene Wenger could be set to make a second big signing from Ligue 1 in a matter of a few days with AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar still a top target for Arsenal.

After signing Alexandre Lacazette for a club-record fee of $68 million, a report from France outlet L’Equipe says Arsenal have offered $51.5 million for Lemar after Monaco turned down their initial bid. Multiple reports suggest Lemar has already agreed personal terms with Arsenal but the two teams still need to agree a fee.

Lemar, 21, excelled against Tottenham and Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League season and the winger can play on either flank or operate through the middle.

With Lacazette adding pace through the middle, Lemar could added plenty more out wide and compliment Mesut Ozil’s creativity well. Arsenal pushing hard for Lemar is leading to many suggesting Alexis Sanchez will leave this summer (see, above) and the French international seems ready for the rigors of the PL after helping Monaco win the French title and reaching the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.

His arrival could well mean the end at Arsenal for the likes of Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and perhaps Alex Iwobi with Wenger looking to rehaul his attack as Olivier Giroud is also being linked with a move to Everton.


Kelechi Iheanacho appears to be edging closer to the exit door at Manchester City with Leicester reportedly ready to pay $32 million for the Nigerian striker.

Iheanacho, 20, fell down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola last season and he had previously been linked with a move to West Ham United.

However, it appears the Foxes are ready to make Iheanacho their main man to partner Jamie Vardy up top and after signing Sevilla’s captain Vicente Iborra on Thursday, Craig Shakespeare is making some serious moves in the transfer window to make sure Leicester aren’t embroiled in another relegation battle this season.

Iheanacho has scored 21 goals in 64 games for City since breaking through as a teenager under Mauricio Pellegrino back in 2015. Despite becoming a cult figure at the Etihad Stadium, Iheanacho didn’t fit in with Guardiola’s style of play last season and played in just 20 PL games.

Independiente and Flamengo meet for South American trophy

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SAO PAULO (AP) Independiente, relegated for the first time in its history in 2013, can complete a remarkable turnaround by winning the Copa Sudamericana at the Maracana Stadium on Wednesday.

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The Argentine team will go into the second leg of the final holding a 2-1 lead over Brazilian club Flamengo from the first leg.

Independiente, which has won multiple titles in South American tournaments, will be counting on 18-year-old midfielder Ezequiel Barco, one of the best players in this year’s competition.

Flamengo is also seeking to restore some pride in Rio de Janeiro. The big-spending Brazilian club, playing in its first Copa Sudamericana final, finished its domestic championship in a disappointing sixth place.

The Rio team will be without Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, who is serving a one-year doping ban.

Instead, veteran midfielder Diego will be the key player as Flamengo looks to claim its first regional title since winning the now-defunct Copa Mercosur in 1999.

After Independiente won the first leg, the club posted on its social media channels a picture of its players celebrating at the Maracana in 1995 when the two teams played for the Supercopa.

If the Argentines lose 1-0 on Wednesday, there will be a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

Last year, Brazilian club Chapecoense was awarded the title before the final after 19 players, plus club directors and several members of staff, died in an air crash.

The Copa Sudamericana is the continent’s second most prestigious tournament after the Copa Libertadores.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund wins in Stoger’s managerial debut

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For the first time since late September, Borussia Dortmund has won a league match, while Leipzig’s slip up opens the door for Bayern Munich to extend its lead in Germany’s top flight.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, level on points with Man United ]

Here’s a brief look at all of Tuesday’s Bundesliga action.

Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

10 points separates Dortmund from league leaders Bayern Munich, who also have a match in hand, but for the moment, the bleeding his stopped. BVB picked up a crucial win on Tuesday to end its domestic woes upon manager Peter Stoger’s debut. The side’s drought stretched over an eight-match winless period. Second-half goals from Sokratis and Shinji Kagawa moved Dortmund into the top four, while Mainz remains 15th in the league table.

 

Wolfsburg 1-1 Red Bull Leipzig

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig’s form continues to slide downward after the second-place side dropped points in its fourth straight match across all competitions. The road side’s fortunes were dampened early on when Paul Verhaegh converted from the penalty spot, however, Marcel Halstenberg did manage to pull a goal back for Leipzig in the 52nd minute. Leipzig’s misfortunes carried on in stoppage time though when Dayot Upamecano was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the day.


The rest of Tuesday’s scores

Hamburg 1-2 Frankfurt
Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

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MILAN (AP) Inter Milan scraped into the Italian Cup quarterfinals after the Serie A leader was taken to penalties by third-division Pordenone on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, moves level on points with Man United ]

Pordenone goalkeeper Simone Perilli pulled off several saves in regulation time to keep the game scoreless, and he almost proved to be the hero during the shootout, stopping two penalties.

But Inter prevailed 5-4, with Yuto Nagatomo tucking away the final spot kick.

Both sides hit the woodwork during the 120 minutes.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti rang the changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting 11 from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Juventus.

[ MORE: Burnley moves into top four after win over Stoke ]

However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.

Report: Cosmos coach Savarese to be named new Timbers manager

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In a time where NASL’s status moving forward is hanging in the balance, one of the league’s top managers is set to make the jump to Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan ]

According to ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is set to be named the next Portland Timbers manager.

Savarese will take over for the recently departed Caleb Porter, who stepped down from his head coaching role with the Timbers in November.

The former professional player spent five seasons in MLS during his career, including stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), as well as the New England Revolution and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 46-year-old has managed the Cosmos from 2013 to present, and guided the NASL side to three Soccer Bowl titles in that span.