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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Paulinho, Sigurdsson, Mendy

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A number of big deals have already been completed this summer, and the transfer market has progressed to the point where rumors that have dragged on for weeks now look to be completed.

There are a host of such deals involving players who have been in the newspapers for some time now.

[ MORE: Thursday Roundup | Wednesday ]

Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho has been rumored to be on his way to Barcelona for months. The 28-year-old moved to Chinese club Guanzhou Evergrande two summers ago, but with Barcelona looking to retool its midfield, he’s resurfaced. Yesterday, reports suggested the Guanzhou could be considering legal action against the Catalan club for tapping their player up, and the deal seemed less likely than ever to be completed with Guanzhou apparently breaking off all communication with Barcelona.

Still, speaking to the media at Nelson Semedo’s unveiling, Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez said that a deal for Paulinho could still be completed.

Asked if the Paulinho transfer was dead in the water, Fernandez said, “It doesn’t have to be. Barca have to be vigilant, and when a player from a particular League comes up and you’re interested, you know what you have to do, and from there you have to do the deal.”


On Thursday it was announced that Gylfi Sigurdsson would not travel to the United States for Swansea City’s preseason tour, thanks to the transfer speculation surrounding the Icelandic playmaker. Still, the club is doing its best to hold firm.

Speaking with WalesOnline on Friday, American owners Steve Kaplan and James Levian made a joint statement, saying, “We will not be bullied or forced into a decision until a club meets our valuation of the player.” Reports over the weeks have suggested they have tagged Sigurdsson at $65 million and will not budge from that amount.

The two owners continued, saying they hoped Sigurdsson would stay and that he still could join the team if his future is sorted out in the next week or two.

“We have the ultimate respect for Gylfi as a person and a player and we are optimistic that he will reconsider his decision and join his team-mates.”


Manchester City is still in need of full-backs despite the completion of a deal for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker. With any potential agreement for Dani Alves scuttled by PSG, they have reportedly turned their sights towards the Ligue 1 champions.

According to a host of reports, City is nearing a deal for Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy. The 22-year-old has shown fantastic ability to move forward up the flanks and now could help City solve its full-back deficiency.

Reports on social media in both France and England suggest that the two clubs have agreed on a deal of $51 million for Mendy, and that the player is traveling to Manchester to complete a medical. Should this deal be completed, it would mean City will have spent $120 million on a pair of full-backs this summer.


Newcastle is looking for reinforcements now that they have been shot straight back up into the Premier League. Dwight Gayle currently leads the Magpies attack after a stellar Championship campaign last season that saw him rack up 23 goals, but Rafa Benitez apparently wants more.

According to reports in his native Uruguay, Bordeaux striker Diego Rolan is a player that Benitez is after. The reports say that Newcastle was given permission to speak with the 24-year-old, who has 25 caps for Uruguay.

The biggest roadblock for Newcastle in this deal is Championship side Fulham, who have been reportedly chasing Rolan for weeks. Rolan has apparently been waffling on whether he wants to drop down to the Championship to a club where he will immediately become the first-choice striker, or join Newcastle and battle for a starting spot in the Premier League. The player reportedly traveled to London on earlier in the week to meet with Fulham but left without making a decision.

Julie Ertz scores in USWNT win, discovers good Eagles news after

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Whoever scheduled the U.S. Women’s National Team’s friendly against Denmark at the same time as the NFC Championship Game on Sunday night should really consider the Ertz family in the future.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup — Auba to Arsenal, Man City tracking Evans, Fred ]

While noted USWNT defender Julie Ertz and her team cruised past the Danes in a 5-1 victory, her husband, Zach, was playing a hand in the Philadelphia Eagles’ progression to the NFL’s Super Bowl.

With Julie not knowing what to expect following her team’s match, find out how she took the news of her husband’s triumph in the video below.

While Zach’s night was certainly a memorable one for many reasons, it was Julie that arguably had the better performance — which included a goal in the 19th minute off of a close-range volley.

The USWNT had trailed through 14 minutes, but a combination of goals from Alex Morgan and Ertz in a span of two minutes quickly erased the deficit.

For Morgan, it was her 80th goal for the Stars and Stripes.

Meanwhile, a second-half brace from teenage sensation Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn’s finish with nine minutes to play proved to be the icing on the cake for Jill Ellis’ side, who kicked off 2018 with a bang.

Report: LA FC near deal for Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez

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As this year’s MLS newcomers aim to fill out the rest of their roster, Los Angeles FC appears close to adding a goalkeeper.

[ SOURCES: Jack Harrison expected to sign for Stoke this winter ]

Reports out of Honduras have stated that Luis Lopez is close to signing with the expansion side, which will suit up for manager Bob Bradley starting in March.

The 24-year-old Lopez most recently played for Real Espana in Honduras’ top flight, who won the league’s Aperatura season. Real currently sits third through one match to start the Clausura season.

At the moment, LA FC has just one other goalkeeper on its roster, former Seattle Sounders keeper Tyler Miller.

Additionally, the Real Espana goalkeeper has made 12 appearances for the Honduras national team.

Bayern beats Bremen 4-2 to go 16 points clear in Bundesliga

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BERLIN (AP) Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich stretched its considerable Bundesliga lead even further Sunday with a 4-2 win over visiting Werder Bremen.

It’s the sixth consecutive round in which Bayern has extended its lead since a defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 13th round – Jupp Heynckes’ only blot in 17 games across all competitions since he returned as coach.

[ MORE: Javi Gracia named new Watford manager ]

Bayern moved 16 points clear after 19 games.

Despite facing a relegation fight and aware of the side’s terrible record in Munich – Bayern scored at least five goals in each of Bremen’s last five visits – the visiting players showed they weren’t overawed and started brightly.

Max Kruse struck the post early on, and the visitors duly went ahead in the 25th minute when Kruse timed his pass perfectly for Jerome Gondorf to squeeze the ball past Sven Ulreich, through the goalkeeper’s legs.

But Bayern struck back with its first real chance minutes before the break. Thomas Mueller controlled Jerome Boateng’s cross on his chest with his first touch and profited from defender Milos Veljkovic‘s loss of balance as he scored with his next.

Lewandowski, who skipped Bayern’s previous game with a knee problem, put the home side in front with a powerful header from James Rodriguez’ corner with a half-hour remaining.

An own-goal from Niklas Suele gave Bremen renewed hope, but Lewandowski grabbed his league-leading 17th goal of the season minutes later with another header, this time Mueller providing the cross.

Mueller then sealed it late with his second of the game off a ball over the top from James. It was the 28-year-old’s 100th Bundesliga goal.

Mueller suggested Bayern’s nine-day break between games had a negative impact as the team had an even tougher week than usual in training.

“Perhaps that’s a small reason (for Bayern’s lackluster start),” Mueller said. “We certainly have to work on a few things, like we do after every game. We’re not yet where we want to be. But the team’s attitude and condition are excellent.”

SCHALKE DISAPPOINTS

Niclas Fuellkrug scored late for Hannover to grab a 1-1 draw at Schalke, denying the home side the opportunity to go second.

Much of the Schalke supporters’ attention was focused on Leon Goretzka, the Germany midfielder who agreed to join Bayern on a free transfer at the end of the season.

There were whistles for Goretzka as his name was called out before kickoff, and there were more any time he touched the ball before he was eventually taken off for Weston McKennie.

Some fans held a large banner declaring: “Neither money nor titles are worth more than our club.”

Marko Pjaca scored early on his first Bundesliga start after joining Schalke from Juventus, but the home side did not press its advantage and Fuellkrug earned the visitors a deserved share of the points. Hannover’s Felix Klaus hit the post in the first half.

Transfer rumor roundup: Auba to Arsenal, Man City target Evans, Fred

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With less than 10 days remaining in the winter transfer window in England, and other leagues not too far behind, teams are looking to bolster their rosters in an attempt to make title pushes come May.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 stalemate at St. Mary’s ]

Pro Soccer Talk takes a glance at some of Sunday’s biggest transfer stories and rumors, with an emphasis on those pertaining to the Premier League.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks to be on his way to the Emirates Stadium this month, as Arsenal aims to revamp its attack in the wake of Alexis Sanchez’s departure.

Goal is reporting that Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is in Germany to help close the deal for the Gunners, who are also nearing a move for Manchester United attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan have a history together, having featured together in the Borussia Dortmund lineup.

Various reports still state that Dortmund is holding out for nearly $73 million in order for the Gunners to obtain Aubameyang’s services this window.


For awhile it seemed like Manchester City were the favorites to acquire Sanchez, but now the club has turned its attention elsewhere.

Goal is reporting that the Cityzens will instead go after West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred.

Pep Guardiola‘s side is reportedly seeking a deeper bench heading into next month when the UEFA Champions League picks back up.

Man City currently holds a 12-point lead at the top of the PL table.


Chelsea has had some interest recently in some… interesting…. PL strikers, and now the Blues have apparently turned their attention to another lesser-known commodity.

It seems that the Blues have turned their attention to Burnley forward Ashley Barnes to serve as a secondary option in Antonio Conte‘s lineup.

Alvaro Morata remains the club’s go-to option up front, along with attackers Eden Hazard and Willian, but Chelsea has been seeking another forward to compliment the Spaniard for some time.

Additionally, Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi is in the mix as well for the Blues, despite only having scored two PL goals this season (eight in all comps).