Slaven Bilic

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Transfer rumor roundup: Schurrle to Newcastle, Spurs

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A new name has emerged on the loan market, as Borussia Dortmund forward Andre Schurrle is reportedly being made available for the second half of the Premier League season.

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Newcastle United reportedly leads the pack for the former Chelsea scorer, who is struggling to get time at BVB thanks to a glut of fantastic wingers including Christian Pulisic.

Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has a good relationship with the Westfalenstadion set, having taken Mikel Merino off their hands in August. Newcastle currently uses Christian Atsu on the left wing and Matt Ritchie on the right, but Schurrle can play center forward and Benitez may prefer to use the 27-year-old in the middle of his trident.

But they’ll face competition, and HITC says BVB is willing to pay half of his wages on an 18-month deal to keep him reasonable for some clubs. This could be a boon for Spurs.

Newcastle and Stoke City have also been linked with Galatasaray midfielder Papa “Badou” Ndiaye, with the Magpies said to have bid just a bit higher than the Potters but still under Gala’s buyout clause.

And here’s a wild one, according to ESPN: Chelsea’s rumored pursuit of current Premier League scorers now includes Marko Arnautovic. The audacious Austrian attacker cost West Ham around $35 million when his head was turned from Stoke City in the summer.

He didn’t perform well but Slaven Bilic, but David Moyes has been able to get some fine performances from the powerful Arnautovic. Chelsea has previously been linked with West Ham teammate Andy Carroll, Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, and Stoke’s Peter Crouch as it attempts to find a center forward to ease the burden placed on Alvaro Morata in his first Premier League season.

Judging the Premier League’s in-season managerial changes

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Stoke City, Swansea City, and now Watford have all made managerial changes in the last month, and await the long-term response of their players to new bosses Paul Lambert (so far, so good), Carlos Carvalhal (mixed, but a win), and probably Javi Gracia, respectively.

That means 40 percent of Premier League clubs have ditched their Opening Day bosses this season. Some were overdue, others were debatable, and the latest — Watford’s sacking of Marco Silva after denying Everton’s pursuit of the boss — is a real head scratcher.

[ MORE: Watford fires Silva, blames Everton ]

How have the moves worked so far?

Crystal Palace
Frank De Boer — 0W-4L
Roy Hodgson — 6W-7D-7L

Hodgson is actually on pace to outdo Sam Allardyce‘s 8W-2D-11L campaign to save Palace’s 2016-17 season. FDB’s short-lived campaign is difficult to judge, his lone win coming in the League Cup against Championship competition, but there’s little debate as to whether Hodgson’s discipline has worked at Selhurst Park.

Everton
Ronald Koeman — 2W-2D-5L
David Unsworth (caretaker) — 2W-2D-1L
Sam Allardyce — 3W-4D-3L

Everton’s entire season has been the same tale: beat the lower half clubs but fail to meet expectations against almost anyone of merit. That’s taken a dive in recent weeks, as Allardyce has drawn West Brom twice and lost at Bournemouth. Jury’s out, and Allardyce has a lot to prove as another team brings him in and spends dough on his behalf.

Leicester City
Craig Shakespeare — 1W-3D-4L
Michael Appleton (caretaker) — 1W
Claude Puel — 7W-4D-4L

It’s now two-straight seasons of poor starts dooming the Leicester City manager, and Shakespeare understandably did not get patience considering the Foxes fired the architect of their stored PL run in Claudio Ranieri (who has Nantes fifth place in Ligue 1). Puel got a rough ride from expectation-heavy Saints fans, who’d probably love to have him back right now. This is an unqualified success, and Leicester may just make it back to Europe.

Swansea City
Paul Clement — 3W-3D-12L
Leon Britton (player manager) — 1D-1L
Carlos Carvalhal — 1W-1D-1L

It’s hard to gauge whether Carvalhal was the right hire, but Swans’ record has improved in the five matches since he was fired and the lone losses are to Liverpool and Spurs. The firing, it seems, was the right call.

West Brom
Tony Pulis — 2W-4D-6L
Gary Megson (caretaker) — 2D
Alan Pardew — 1W-4D-4L

The wins still need to come, but West Brom do look a more promising side and Alan Pardew’s desire to play two strikers certainly makes for better entertainment than Tony Pulis’ unit. Like Everton, the jury is still out. If we had to judge, we’d say it’s the right move for a fan base which prefers a more fashionable style of play (but also prefers being in the Premier League).

West Ham
Slaven Bilic — 2W-3D-6L
David Moyes — 4W-4D-4L

So far, Moyes is doing wonders for his reputation while performing feats that Everton is still seeking from Allardyce; West Ham has spent some money, and Moyes is getting performances out of Marko Arnautovic and using his width well (Arthur Masuaku has been impressive at full back).

Watford fires Silva, blames Everton

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Watford has fired Marco Silva as manager, and it’s blaming Everton.

The Hornets are 1W-2D-8L in their last 11 Premier League matches after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Leicester City, and have won just three in the league since the Toffees sacked Ronald Koeman on Oct. 23.

[ MORE: Making sense of Silva situation ]

Watford sat fifth in the table at that point, and has dropped to 10th. That’s five points clear of the drop zone and eight points back of eighth.

Silva was chased hard by Everton, and Watford rejected all advances for the Portuguese boss. The Toffees ended up hiring Sam Allardyce in a move which has also gone south.

Here’s the guts of Watford’s released statement:

The Club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.

The catalyst for this decision is that unwarranted approach, something which the Board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford FC has been jeopardised.

[ REPORT: Stoke to add hometown Harrison from NYCFC ]

Watford will appoint its ninth manager since the start of the 2012-13 season. It faces Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday before a midweek league visit to fellow relegation struggler Stoke City on Jan. 31.

Silva is the eighth manager fired since the beginning of the Premier League season, joining Frank De Boer, Craig Shakespeare, Ronald Koeman, Slaven Bilic, Tony Pulis, Paul Clement, and Mark Hughes.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Sanchez to Man United; Chicharito to leave

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There are some monster transfer reports around on Thursday morning.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

We’ve already heard the news that Manchester United will reportedly battle Liverpool to sign USMNT star Christian Pulisic in the summer, but there’s more. Oh yes.

According to reports from Sky Italy, Manchester United are also said to be making a move to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January with a fee of $35 million reported, plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be offered up in any deal.

With Manchester City thought to be the firm favorites to sign Sanchez, 29, from the Gunners as his contract running out in July, it appears that Jose Mourinho is making a big move for the Chilean star.

Per the report, Sanchez has been offered a bigger contract at United and the Red Devils have well and truly joined the race to sign the forward ahead of their crosstown rivals.

Sanchez has scored just seven goals in 20 PL games for Arsenal this season and their gamble to not sell him last summer to Man City for over $75 million and instead try and persuade him to stick around and sign a new deal has well and truly backfired.

Wenger and Arsenal will surely sell Sanchez this month to try and recoup some cash with the Chilean free to agree a move to a non-English club right now, and free to join any PL club from July 1 on a free transfer.

Would he be better suite to United? He would certainly play a more prominent role, you would think. At City he would have Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero to compete with for a starting spot but at United he would surely start above the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

Given the fact that Sanchez hasn’t played in the UEFA Champions League this season, he is also very valuable as he isn’t cup tied for the UCL knockout rounds.


A report from Sky Sports states that West Ham are ready to listen to offers for Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who they only signed for $21.5 million from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.

The 29-year-old has scored four goals for the Hammers in 21 appearances in all competitions this season, a campaign which has seen West Ham embroiled in a relegation battle and the man who signed Chicharito, Slaven Bilic, was sacked in November and replaced with David Moyes.

Moyes didn’t see eye-to-eye with Chicharito while he was manager of Manchester United in the 2013-14 season and it is believed that the Scotsman is eager to offload the El Tri star, as well as Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew to reshape his attack.

Simply put: this move hasn’t worked out well for anyone.

Where could Chicharito go? There have been suggestions that a move to Major League Soccer could be on the cards and with LAFC having one more Designated Player spot open, could Hernandez be heading to LA to link up with Bob Bradley for their debut season in MLS which kicks off in March?

Stranger things have happened even though Chicharito has said in the past that he isn’t keen to join an MLS club right now. With his international teammate, Carlos Vela, at LAFC, maybe that will persuade him to make the move to the exciting project in the City of Angels.

If not to MLS, there will still be plenty of interest in Hernandez from the PL and elsewhere in Europe in January.

Swansea reportedly looking at Bilic, De Boer

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Swansea City may turn a recently-fired Premier League manager, but perhaps not the one many expected when the Welsh side fired Paul Clement.

Countryman Tony Pulis is not in the running for the gig, according to the BBC, which is an eyebrow-raiser considering the veteran PL manager recently hit the market after being fired by West Brom.

[ PL PREVIEW: Everton-Chelsea ]

Yet there are two other men who started the year with PL clubs in the discussion: Short-lived Crystal Palace boss Frank De Boer and longer-running West Ham man Slaven Bilic.

De Boer didn’t get much time to sort himself out at Palace and was without talisman Wilfried Zaha for some of the run, but has seen quick exits from his last two managerial gigs after a good career at Ajax (itself dealing managerial instability this week).

As for Bilic, the colorful personality led West Ham to the Europa League but didn’t make it out of qualifying and could not rediscover that success last season or early this season.

Leon Britton is the current caretaker boss, a 15-year veteran of the Swans set-up.