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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Drinkwater to Chelsea; Mane to Inter

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So what are Chelsea going to do with that $52.3 million for Nemanja Matic? Spend it on Danny Drinkwater, apparently.

[ MORE: How much has each PL club spent?

According to the Daily Mail, Drinkwater, 27, is high on Antonio Conte‘s wish-list and Chelsea could certainly do with another central midfielder as the report also claims Renato Sanches, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are other options.

After selling Matic to Manchester United on Monday (a somewhat bizarre move, despite the huge amount of cash) the Blues have N'Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko (he will miss the start of the season as he recovers from minor knee surgery) who can play in midfield. Not bad, and even David Luiz could step forward into midfield if needed.

That said, after losing Nathaniel Chaloboah and Matic, then loaning out Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Crystal Palace for the season, all of a sudden Conte’s midfield options are looking thin (insert smarmy joke about his hair plugs, here).

Drinkwater would, of course, be reunited with Kante in midfield if he did arrived at Stamford Bridge and the former Manchester United midfielder will want to push as hard as he can to try and get back into the England squad in a World Cup year. Drinkwater signed a new long-term deal in the aftermath of Leicester winning the PL title, but with Wilfred Ndidi, Daniel Amarety, Nampalys Mendy, Vicente Iborra, Andy King and Matty James around, could the Foxes cash in on Drinkwater?

He wouldn’t be first choice at Chelsea, at least to start with, with Bakayoko and Kante likely to man the areas in front of Chelsea’s three central defenders. Yet Drinkwater is much more than a stopper as he’s shown over the years with raking assists up to Jamie Vardy and Co. plus scoring a few screamers himself. That and the lure of being part of a squad in the UEFA Champions League could tempt Drinkwater, but a bid of over $30 million is likely needed to force Leicester to sell.

File this one under: “yeah, sure buddy…”

Per a report in the Daily Express, Inter Milan are chasing Liverpool winger Sadio Mane. The most questionable part of this report, aside from the belief that Liverpool would actually let Mane leave, is that Inter is offering just $46.2 million for Mane. That’s pretty much the same amount Liverpool paid Southampton for Mane 12 months.

So, yeah, Mane is probably worth over $75 million, at least.

The Senegalese flyer was a sensation at Anfield last season, winning Liverpool’s Player of the Year and included in the PFA Team of the Year before his season was ended in early April with a serious knee injury.

Mane handed Liverpool a huge boost by returning to action last weekend against Hertha Berlin in a friendly and it is inconcievable that Klopp would sell either Mane or Philippe Coutinho — no matter what Barcelona offers for him, the Reds simply cannot let him leave — this summer if he wants his project to be a success.

Unlike Liverpool’s other attackers Mane possess electric pass and his addition seemed like the final piece of the jigsaw for Klopp’s attack as the trickery of Roberto Firmino, Coutinho and Adam Lallana had an outlet and teams could be stretched by the threat of Mane’s pace on the counter.

Of course, Inter, like their rivals AC Milan, do have wealthy investors planning to pump plenty of cash into the club but it seems like Mane has a job to do at Liverpool for at least the next few seasons as they aim to become regular PL title contenders and in the UEFA Champions League.

MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 1-3 Toronto FC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Greg Vanney and Toronto keep on doing their thing, and the Canadian side is yet another step closer to achieving MLS glory. TFC picked up its 50th point of the season on Saturday night after comfortably handling the Chicago Fire, who have cooled off significantly as of late in the Eastern Conference. The Fire are now nine points behind the East leaders and are losers of four of their last five matches.

Three moments that mattered

54′ — Accam, Fire level it up — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from everybody…

64′ — Hasler nets first MLS goal — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from all of their players…

90′ — Giovinco says goodnight to Chicago — That’s 12 goals on the season for Sebastian Giovinco and the TFC striker continues to help his side push towards the top seed in the East and MLS.

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Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Marco Delgado (14′), David Accam (54′), Nick Hasler (63′), Sebastian Giovinco (90′)

Video: Watts gifts D.C. United own goal for the ages

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Not many things have gone right for either side involved in 2017, but D.C. United was the recipient of a gift early on against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

[ MORE: Piatti brace lifts Impact to fourth win in a row; Orlando, Crew draw ]

In the 27th minute, Rapids center back Jared Watts received the ball at the back, before making a routine back pass to USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard

Or at least, it should have been a routine back pass.

Instead, Watts’ pass was well off target and too strong for Howard to reach and landed in the back of the Rapids goal. 1-0 in favor of D.C.

Reminder: Both these teams sit at the bottom of their respective conferences on points.

MLS Snapshot: Piatti brace lifts Impact | Crew, Orlando City draw

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Montreal Impact have proven to be a second-half of the season team the last several years, and that form appears to be holding true once more. Mauro Biello’s side won its fourth straight match on Saturday, while Ignacio Piatti continues to show he’s one of the most deadly scorers in the league. Meanwhile, RSL’s six-match unbeaten run is snapped north of the border, leaving the Western Conference side three points out of sixth place.

Three four moments that mattered

11′ — Piatti nets his first of the night — The Impact made this attack look so easy, and Ignacio Piatti simply won’t miss a chance like this one.

26′ — Evan Bush left motionless as RSL equalize — Luis Silva took matters into his own hands, and boy did he connect with this effort!

29′ — Impact punish poor RSL defense — Guess who? Piatti has his second of the evening.

47′ — Hosts begin to pile it on — Anthony Jackson-Hamel played provider in the first two goals, so it’s only fair he got one of his own.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Ignacio Piatti (11′, 29′), Luis Silva (26′), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (47′)

The game in 100 words (or less): Orlando City and the Crew settled for a point apiece on Saturday night, but for the former the club is running out of opportunities to pick up points in the playoff race. Giles Barnes pulled a goal back for the hosts after Lalas Abubakar netted his first MLS goal for the Crew, but Orlando couldn’t find a second. The Lions played up a man for the final 13 minutes, following Harrison Afful’s dismissal.

Three moments that mattered

35′ — Abubakar knocks in first MLS goal — Orlando City’s defensive woes are certainly notable as well, but for Lalas Abubakar this is a quality way to open his scoring account in MLS.

67′ — Barnes knots it up at 1-1 — The veteran MLS forward picked up his second goal of the season.

77′ — VAR used for red card decision — The video monitor came into play briefly in the second half, and Harrison Afful was sent off the pitch early after the referee viewed the defender’s elbow to the head of Yoshi Yotun.

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Man of the match: Zack Steffen

Goalscorers: Lalas Abubakar (35′), Giles Barnes (67′)

Atlanta United fans pack 20,000 into new stadium for training session

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Atlanta United is currently in the midst of a three-match road trip in MLS play, but that didn’t stop the club from unveiling its new home venue to a massive crowd of supporters on Saturday.

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Over 20,000 fans of the Eastern Conference expansion side filed into Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch Gerardo Martino’s side train on Saturday as Atlanta prepares to finish out its road trip against D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union.

Atlanta will open up home play at their new stadium on September 10 when they host FC Dallas. The club will have the benefit of playing eight of its final 10 regular season matches in front of its Georgia fan base.

The first-year MLS side will share the stadium with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.

Here are some sights from the training session