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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Coutinho to Barcelona, Moreno to Watford

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With Neymar off to PSG, all eyes are on Barcelona to see how they invest the massive sum of money they fallen onto. The immediate noise involves Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho. The Reds playmaker will be tough to pry away from Anfield, with Liverpool likely to reject any and all advances for their best player so close to the new season.

However, that’s not stopping the tabloids from bursting with transfer updates, with reports in Italy suggesting that Barcelona is preparing a $141 million bid for the 25-year-old Brazilian. It would seem that Barcelona will need a push from the player to make any deal realistic, likely why so much of this has been leaked right away.

[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ]

Should that fail, the same report says that Barcelona will tail Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala, who could also cost them around the same sum of money.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Alberto Moreno could be headed to Watford after falling to third in the left-back depth chart. The Spaniard lost his place to James Milner last season, and is also facing competition from new arrival Andrew Robertson.

With prospects looking bleak at Anfield, the 25-year-old could find himself out of favor and looking for a move to ensure more playing time.

However, Jurgen Klopp was happy with Moreno’s pre-season performance against Bayern Munich, and praised him after the match. “It was a really good game by Alberto,” Klopp said. “That’s why we kept him playing every second. He was playing better, he’s really fit. He had a little problem with his thigh but we had a test with him in the morning and he was okay.”

Klopp could simply be pumping Moreno up in the shop window, with the Echo reporting Watford is one of two Premier League clubs interested. But should he continue to perform, the former Sevilla man could potentially work his way back up the Reds depth chart.

Arsenal has reportedly enquired about Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman, but according to reports, the German champions are in no mind to sell.

The report originated from French media outlet Telefoot, who said the Gunners contacted Bayern a few weeks ago about the 21-year-old Frenchman, but were told that he was not for sale. The departure of Douglas Costa to Juventus was the main reason for their hesitancy to sell Coman, but his age probably has to do with it as well.

Antonio Conte laughed off any rumors of a Barcelona move for Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard. It’s not the first time that the Blues boss has been forced to dispel rumors of a swoop for Hazard this summer, but he did so emphatically.

“These are rumors,” Conte said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield against Arsenal. “Eden is very happy to stay with us and to play with us. He must recover from (an ankle) injury and then start with us.”

With Barcelona now looking to rush through a big signing before the window closes, there will be rumors flying like this left and right, but it will be tough for the Catalan club to make such a signing this late in the window, with clubs refusing to sell their best players with the season so close and little time to replace them.

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.

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

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