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Transfer Rumor Wrap: Barcelona resigns Deulofeu, Milan spending spree continues

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Gerard Deulofeu is heading home.

Barcelona announced it had re-signed the 23-year-old Spanish winger early Friday, two weeks after exercising his buy-back clause after he was sold to Everton in 2015. According to the BBC, the buy-back clause is worth $13.75 million.

The Catalonian club signed Deulofeu to a two-year contract and Deulofeu is already taking part in preseason training with the club.

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Since leaving Barcelona in 2013, Deulofeu has played for Everton, Sevilla and AC Milan, where he finished last season, making 16 starts and scoring four times. Overall with Everton Deulofeu made 62 Premier League appearances with five goals and 11 assists. But he found himself out of coach Ronald Koeman‘s plans heading into this season, opening the door for a return to Barcelona.

For Barcelona, Deulofeu likely wasn’t their first choice to sign this summer but bringing in a homegrown winger who can impact the game off the bench is never a bad idea, especially at a cut-rate price.

Here’s a look at more transfer news from around the Premier League and Europe


Milan nearing shock transfer

AC Milan’s summer spending spree is set to continue with one of the most surprising transfer moves of the summer.

According to multiple reports out of Italy, Juventus and Italian National Team defender Leonardo Bonucci is set to make the 88 mile move east from Turin to join AC Milan on a transfer reportedly worth nearly $46 million.

It’s a coup for Milan, who under new ownership has spent more than $120 million on transfers already this summer to strengthen the squad, including signing Portugal’s Andre Silva, Hakan Calanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez and Andrea Conti. Bonucci would be the second major centerback signing as well after Argentine Matteo Musacchio.

Bonucci reportedly fell out with Juventus manager Max Allegri this past season but it seemed likely that Bonucci would leave for former coach Antonio Conte and Chelsea. Even though Juventus is losing one of its top players, the move makes sense from a financial perspective, receiving a huge transfer fee for a 30-year-old player who likely won’t have much more sell-on value in the future.

Milan though are banking on Bonucci leading the club back to the UEFA Champions League, where they have failed to qualify for since the 2013-2014 season. This year the club is back in European competition in the Europa League after a three-year absence.

Van Persie moves back to hometown club Feyenoord

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Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie has signed with his boyhood club Feyenoord after being released from his contract at Fenerbahce, the Dutch club confirmed.

The 34-year-old has only made two league appearances this season due to a knee injury, and since returning to full health in early December, he has been left out of the squad. Van Persie’s switch is a free transfer after his Turkish club allowed him to terminate his contract. It was reported back in November that the Dutchman was no longer wanted at Fenerbahce and that they would let him rot on the bench if he did not find a way out himself.

[ MORE: Friday Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

“Nothing stands in the way of a return of the 102-cap international to De Kuip,” Feyenoord wrote in an official statement, “now that he has come to an agreement with his current club Fenerbahce about the dissolution of his contract. The club and the player have reached an agreement regarding personal terms and related details for the move.”

A Rotterdam native, van Persie began his career in Feyenoord’s youth academy and made his first club appearance off the bench in a February, 2001 Eredivisie match against Roda JC. His first professional start, a KNVB-Bekker match against AGOVV Apeldoorn, saw him score an incredible five goals in a 6-1 win. Van Persie would go on to score 21 goals in 76 matches across all competitions for the club before moving to Arsenal in the summer of 2004, where he would spend the next eight seasons, arriving just after the Invincibles season and leaving in 2012 after 131 goals for the Gunners.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea still pursuing Roma duo, and more

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Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.

According to multiple reports, Chelsea is attempting a double signing from AS Roma, forward Edin Dzeko and midfielder Emerson Palmieri. The Brazilian left-back is rated by Roma at $30.5 million but he could join Chelsea on loan. However the interest in Dzeko is much newer, and it’s unclear whether Roma would allow Dzeko to leave, especially in the middle of the season.

[READ: MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker]

With Roma preparing to face Inter Milan this weekend, talks between the two clubs have been put on hold until next week.

Dzeko’s agent confirmed that Conte is interested in the Bosnia and Herzegovina international but stated Dzeko’s desire is to remain at Roma.

After failing to beat out Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup for Manchester City, it would be interesting to see Dzeko give the Premier League another go, although he’d likely play second-fiddle again, this time to Alvaro Morata.

Here are some more transfer rumors from around Europe and the Premier League:

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MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker

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For a few dozen players, hearing their name called up to the big stage will validate all the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made since they were children.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. when Los Angeles FC is on the clock at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the 2018 MLS SuperDraft will be underway. Many of the top college prospects will soon find out whether they’ll be headed to the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Southeast, Southern California or anywhere in between.

[MORE: 2018 MLS Mock Draft]

This year’s draft class is loaded with attacking talent, from Generation Adidas trio Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest), Mason Toye (Indiana) and Francis Atuahene (Michigan) to Twumasi’s college teammate Jon Bakero.

But potential No. 1 overall pick is a three-time national champion, Thomas Hilliard-Arce, who could become the anchor of a backline for a decade.

Follow along below as we update the picks live as we hear them:

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Bayern signs Germany midfielder Goretzka from rival Schalke

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich signed Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka on Friday on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Schalke effective from next season.

Bayern said the 22-year-old Goretzka signed a four-year deal from July 1 through June 2022.

Schalke, which Goretzka joined in 2013 from hometown club Bochum, said the player informed the club this week of his wish to join Bayern when his contract expired.

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“We think we did everything in the last months to convince Leon to stay with us,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough.”

Schalke had long been engaged in trying to get Goretzka to extend his contract, but was aware of reported interest from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

“We’re very happy that Leon Goretzka, a German international with big potential, has decided in favor of Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way it’s ensured that Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Goretzka scored 19 goals and set up 13 more in 130 appearances for Schalke.

The club had previously expressed its displeasure with Bayern making public statements about its player after Goretzka was praised by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Jupp Heynckes.

Heidel said “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”

Goretzka has six goals in 12 games for Germany.