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Sigurdsson out of Swansea’s U.S. tour as Everton move nears

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Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s exit from Swansea City now seems inevitable and one of the biggest moves of the summer is well and truly on.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s next star striker? ]

Sigurdsson, 27, has been left out of Swansea’s squad for their preseason trip to the USA with the club making an announcement Thursday following constant speculation over his future in South Wales.

It has been widely reported that Everton will now come in with an improved bid for the player after their initial bid of $51.7 million was reportedly turned down.

Here’s the statement from the Swans on Sigurdsson.

“We can confirm that Gylfi Sigurdsson will not travel with the squad for our pre-season tour of the USA. Having played vs. Barnet last night, Gylfi did not feel in the right frame of mind to travel due to the current uncertainty over his future.”

The Swans are said to want $65 million for Sigurdsson and their manager Paul Clement spoke after the 1-0 friendly defeat at Barnet on Wednesday, saying that there was “strong interest” in Sigurdsson and that they “are not sure whether he is going to be here for this season.”

Sigurdsson’s output in a poor Swansea side was remarkable in 2016-17 with the Icelandic international scoring nine goals and grabbing 13 assists to keep the Swans in the PL. His silky crosses and key passes in the final third have teams lining up to try and sign him.

It is believed both Leicester City and Everton have already had bids turned down by Swansea this summer and although they do not want to sell Sigurdsson the situation now seems to have spiraled out of control.

If Everton do sign Sigurdsson then it would surely mark Ross Barkley‘s exit from Goodison Park as Ronald Koeman continues to be ruthless in the transfer market and rebuild his squad.

Despite selling top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for $96.5 million, Koeman has added Davy Klassen, Wayne Rooney and Sandro Ramirez in the attacking area of the pitch, while Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford have arrived to strengthen their defense.

Everton’s total spend for this summer will soar past $180 million if Sigurdsson does arrive and owner Farhad Moshiri will have kept his promise about spending big to try and turn the Toffees into a top four outfit. Sigurdsson would be one of the final pieces of the jigsaw for Koeman who is hoping to cope with the loss of Lukaku by having several attackers chip in with “10-15 goals” this season.

For Swansea, this would be a big blow in Clement’s plans for the new season and it means they will have lost three key players who helped keep them up last season with Jack Cork signing for Burnley, Sigurdsson on the way out and Fernando Llorente struggling to be fit for the start of the season after suffering a broken arm over the summer.

MLS Playoff bracket, dates set: Chicago, Vancouver host Tues.

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Major League Soccer’s playoff bracket is set. Our staff predictions are coming Tuesday before the first round match-ups, but here’s what we’ll be watching…

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

The chase begins with Chicago and the Red Bulls, and San Jose heading to Vancouver. The Quakes drew the ‘Caps just over a week ago, on Oct. 15.

First round
(E3) Chicago vs. (E6) New York Red Bulls — 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday
(W3) Vancouver vs. (W6) San Jose — 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday
(E4) Atlanta vs. (E5) Columbus — 7 p.m. ET Wednesday
(W4) Houston vs. (W5) Sporting KC — 9:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Conference semifinals
(W1) Portland vs.  San Jose, Houston, or Sporting KC
(W2) Seattle vs. Houston, Sporting KC, or Vancouver
(E1) Toronto vs. New York Red Bulls, Atlanta, or Columbus
(E2) New York City vs. Atlanta, Columbus, or Chicago

Conference finals
Eastern Conference — Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 or 29
Western Conference — Nov. 21 and Nov. 30

MLS Cup Final
At finalist with best record — 4 p.m. ET Dec. 9

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Who will replace Koeman at Everton?

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Where will Everton turn in search of their next manager?

U23s coach David Unsworth is the front-runner to take over, according to several betting sites — not that we’d partake in such madness — and the 44-year-old boasts 312 career appaearances for the Toffees.

[ MORE: Everton sacks Ronald Koeman ]

As for who else could be in frame for the gig, there are names (quite) familiar and new.

David Moyes — This one is an eyebrow-raiser, as Moyes has had little if any success since leaving Everton and ended his time at Sunderland with a sexist takedown of a journalist. But the 54-year-old Scot spent more than 11 years at Everton before leaving for Manchester United, and it’s not like the Toffees wanted him to skip town. He was thrice League Manager of the Year at Goodison Park.

Sean Dyche — The Burnley boss has overachieved time and again at Turf Moor, and the Clarets are one of the smallest outfits the Premier League has ever seen. A move to Everton could be a big and safe enough step to warrant his affection.

Carlo Ancelotti — He’s said he’s not returning to a manager’s seat this season, but the Italian may relish the chance to take a skillful team and organize it into its rightful potential. And we think he’s do a magnificent job.

Chris Coleman — He’s waffled on staying in his position at Wales, and the club’s absence from this summer’s World Cup must have him eyeing the club scene. He’s hasn’t led a club since 2012, having led AEL, Coventry City, Real Sociedad, and Fulham.

Phil Neville — The Manchester United and Everton playing legend doesn’t have first chair experience, but may be able to rally the troops. His latest stint was as an assistant in brother Gary’s tough, short campaign at Valencia.

Although… his recent prediction record isn’t hot.

Longshots: Mikel Arteta, Luis Enrique, Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Sam Allardyce, Manuel Pellegrini, Frank De Boer.

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Three seriously injured, 120 detained in Bruges hooligan riot

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BRUSSELS (AP) Authorities are investigating a hooligan riot which seriously injured three people and forced Brugge police to detain 120 following the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp.

[ MORE: Mbappe wins Golden Boy ]

Local police chief Dirk Van Nuffel says one policeman was among the seriously wounded as authorities sought to contain a brawl between Belgian fans reinforced by others who had come from the Netherlands.

By Monday morning all were released but investigators were still seeking to see who was at the core of the fighting. Van Nuffel says such hooligan fighting “hadn’t been seen for years.”

Everton fires Ronald Koeman

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A 5-2 home loss versus Arsenal sent Everton into the Premier League drop zone, and that’s apparently a bridge too far for the Toffees when it comes to their managerial position.

Ronald Koeman is out at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Who will replace him? ]

Everton sits 18th in the Premier League with eight points, it’s minus-11 goal differential second-worst in the top flight. Its 18 goals conceded are third-worst, and only three clubs have scored fewer goals than its seven.

The Toffees won two rounds in the Europa League, beating Ružomberok and Hajduk Split, but have lost to Atalanta and Lyon while drawing Apollon Limassol in Group E play.

Everton faces Chelsea in League Cup play on Wednesday before a critical early season match at Leicester City on Sunday.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

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