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Man City reportedly agrees $86m price for Laporte

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Sky Sports reporter Guillem Balague is reporting that Manchester City is set to seal an $86 million purchase of center back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, and all that’s left is for City to agree to contract terms with the player.

[ MORE: MCFC into League Cup Final ]

The 23-year-old has been with the Basque outfit since 2012, making more than 200 appearances for Athletic. Balague issued a Tweet saying Man City opted for Laporte over $34 million Jonny Evans of West Brom.

Laporte is a smooth and technical passer at center back who shouldn’t have a problem with the physical nature of the Premier League either. He’s yet to break into the French national team, and is only the second French player to play for Bilbao.

Rumors have circulated for some time, though a Tuesday report was dismissed because Laporte was in advanced discussions with Man City during a previous transfer window when he changed his mind.

It’s more big money from City, a boon for Athletic Bilbao, and terrific competition for John Stones and any Man City center back not named Nicolas Otamendi (and Vincent Kompany when healthy).

Balague: Arsenal optimistic of $73m Aubameyang purchase

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Respected reporter Guillem Balague says two Premier League sides could be getting new superstar strikers in the January transfer window.

One of those scorers, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was suspended for personal misconduct by Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Balague’s report certainly lends credence to the idea of an impending transfer.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 4-3 Man City | 3 things ]

Balague says that Arsenal is willing to pay $73 million for Aubameyang and are confident that Borussia Dortmund would accept such an offer.

Aubameyang is a prolific scorer but more advanced in age than most Arsenal purchases. The 28-year-old has 21 goals for BVB this season, and was dropped from the team on Sunday.

BVB goalkeeper Roman Burki said this about the suspension:

“I support it. It was a logical decision. There are rules which apply to every player regardless of how many goals he scores or prevents. It would be a shame if he missed out again due to his stupid actions.”

Interesting.

Balague also says Alexis Sanchez has big offers from Manchester City and Manchester United, and that the Red Devils are ahead in the race to land the Chilean attacker in the next three days. He also said no one is ruling City out yet.

Here’s his report below:

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Barcelona preparing fresh bid for Coutinho, and more

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Liverpool FC appears to be preparing to lose one of its biggest stars in the coming months.

According to a report from Sky Sports News’ Guillem Balague, Barcelona is preparing to launch another bid for Philippe Coutinho worth nearly $180 million, and the report states that Liverpool is now more likely to accept an offer, whether in January or after the World Cup this summer.

The Reds rejected a trio of offers for Coutinho over the summer despite the Brazilian lodging a transfer request with the front office. The last bid was reportedly worth around $150 million, which before Neymar’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain would have been a record transfer bid.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

It would be very surprising to see Liverpool offload Coutinho now, with the team still in the race for a UEFA Champions League position for next year as well as this year’s Champions League knockout stage. At the same time, Coutinho would have to adjust to a new club and new setting just six months before a World Cup, which may keep him in Liverpool until then.

The report states that Coutinho signing a new contract at Liverpool is the least likely outcome, a very disappointing note for the Merseyside club.

Here’s some more transfer rumors around the Premier League and Europe:

(more…)

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

Diego Valeri named 2017 MLS MVP

Pete Christopher//The Oregonian via AP
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It’s no shock, but Diego Valeri is the 2017 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player.

The Portland Timbers man carried the Cascadian club on his back, scoring 21 times with 11 assists. That includes an MLS record nine-match scoring streak.

Valeri won more than 50 percent of the vote, with runner-up David Villa the only other player getting double digits (16.40).

[ MORE: Goretzka readies decision ]

Three Toronto FC players split 10 percent of the vote (Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley, Victor Vazquez). The Top Eight was rounded out by Atlanta United pair Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez, and Chicago striker Nemanja Nikolic.

He’s Portland’s first MLS MVP.

  • 2017: Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers
  • 2016: David Villa – New York City FC
  • 2015: Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC
  • 2014: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy
  • 2013: Mike Magee – Chicago Fire
  • 2012: Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
  • 2011: Dwayne De Rosario – D.C. United
  • 2010: David Ferreira – FC Dallas
  • 2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
  • 2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Columbus Crew
  • 2007: Luciano Emilio – D.C. United
  • 2006: Christian Gomez – D.C. United
  • 2005: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
  • 2004: Amado Guevara – MetroStars
  • 2003: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
  • 2002: Carlos Ruiz – LA Galaxy
  • 2001: Alex Pineda Chacon – Miami Fusion
  • 2000: Tony Meola – Kansas City Wizards
  • 1999: Jason Kreis – Dallas Burn
  • 1998: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
  • 1997: Preki – Kansas City Wizards
  • 1996: Carlos Valderrama – Tampa Bay Mutiny