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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a good fit for Chelsea?

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With Borussia Dortmund urging clubs to come forward and pay the cash they want for star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are all said to be pursuing the Gabonese striker.

And rightly so.

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Aubemayang, 28, was the leading scorer in the Bundesliga last season with 31 goals in 32 games, but as well as his supreme finishing ability he offers a focal point in attack. That’s something Chelsea could badly do with as Diego Costa’s exit edges closer following his latest antics, while potential moves for Alexis Sanchez, Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Morata and Andrea Belotti all seem increasingly complex.

Costa’s situation has provided Chelsea with an issue they need to sort out quickly, and Dortmund’s CEO wants Aubameyang’s future sorted quickly as clubs line up to sign him.

Would Aubameyang be a good signing for Chelsea at $91.5 million? That’s not quite value for money when you think that’s just $5 million less than Manchester United paid for Romelu Lukaku and he is four years younger than Aubameyang.

Yet, if Chelsea can negotiate that down to $80 million or so, then they will have a player who not only delivers goals — he has scored 120 goals in 189 games in all competitions for Dortmund over the past four seasons — but one that would fit into their system perfectly.

Sure, Aubameyang has never played in the Premier League before and we all know how hit and miss it can be with strikers adjusting to the PL after playing elsewhere in Europe for most of their career. Yet nothing about Aubemyang’s considerable sample size suggests that he will struggle physically in the PL as can often the case with foreign imports.

Developing under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund, Aubameyang has improved year on year and he can score all types of goals and is a pure poacher. His work rate may not be as incessant as Costa’s but he is arguably more clinical than the Spaniard and is more mobile to stretch defenses and create spaces for Chelsea’s other attackers.

With the trend of Premier League clubs heading to the Bundesliga for players over the past few years, the style of play in Germany’s top-flight is incredibly comparable to the style of the PL and the risk of a player failing to acclimatize to England appears to be diminished. Aubameyang has offered an option in-behind for Dortmund over the past four seasons, while he is also able to hold the ball up and get on the end of crosses, scoring six headers in the Bundesliga last season.

The way Chelsea have used Diego Costa, and Didier Drogba before him, is the same way Dortmund have used Aubameyang to great success since he arrived from Saint-Etienne in 2013. Putting quick, skilled attackers around a target man isn’t a new thing, but it’s difficult to do it well.

Chelsea does it well and has everything in place in attack with Eden Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas able to put chances on a plate for a forward and with Aubameyang trending upwards over the past three seasons (he has scored at least 25 in each campaign, scoring more goals in each season) you can speculate he’d score over 30 goals in all competitions.

That’s worth $85 million, right?

Aubameyang is said to fancy a move back to AC Milan, the club where he came through the youth ranks before spending several seasons out on loan and then starring at Dortmund, but it’s clear from looking at his numbers, style of play and potential combinations, Chelsea should make a big push to sign him.

With Morata, Belotti, Sanchez and Aguero all more expensive and unlikely, targeting Aubameyang is the smart play. Chelsea have had success late in the window over the past few seasons but Dortmund want Aubameyang out soon. That could play in to Conte’s hands.

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.