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NYCFC’s, er, Man City’s Diskerud back on loan to Goteborg

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Mix Diskerud’s last 11 months are something else when laid out, line-by-line.

March 2017:  Leaves NYCFC, on loan to Goteborg

December 2017: “Back” to NYCFC from Goteborg

Jan. 2018: Transfered from NYCFC to Man City

Friday: Back to Goteborg, on loan from Man City

[ MORE: American debuts for Chelsea ]

Diskerud, 27, seemed destined for a return to Goteborg after leaving Patrick Vieira’s NYCFC last season. He was a regular for the Swedish side at defensive mid and right mid, missing only one of 30 starts (yellow card accumulation).

But Manchester City bought his rights from NYCFC instead of Goteborg, and now Diskerud rejoins the club that very much appreciates him until… Man City says so?

It’s weird.

Diskerud had five goals and four assists for Goteborg, one of their more effective players according to advanced stats site WhoScored.com.

Justin Kluivert reveals the PL clubs he’d like to join

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Okay, this is a bit different, but I applaud thinking outside the box.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

It’s not often a player comes out and names the teams he would like to join in the Premier League, but Ajax’s teenage sensation Justin Kluivert has done just that.

Kluivert, 18, is having a fine season for the Dutch giants as he follows in the footsteps of his legendary favor, Patrick. The Dutch U-21 international has scored six goals and registered four assists in 16 starts in the Eredivisie this season from the left wing, his first full campaign with the Amsterdam club.

His contract runs out in 2019 but he is said to be in talks over a new deal and is quite happy to stay at Ajax, for now…

Speaking to Dutch outlet Helden, Kluivert revealed he would be open to any of these four Premier League clubs in the future.

“England appeals to me: Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea or Manchester United are nice clubs where I can see myself playing in a few years,” Kluivert said. “If you get a nice offer, you never know.”

Well played, young Justin.

This is one of the least subtle “I’m happy with where I am right now… but you never know” statements in soccer history.

Kluivert is obviously an incredibly talented forward and the fact that he’s been in and around Ajax’s first team over the past 12-18 months says it all. He’s come through the ranks at the one of the most demanding youth academies on the planet and his pedigree is undoubted given his father was one of the finest forwards Ajax and the Netherlands ever produced.

Which would suit Kluivert best?

You’d have to say Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino‘s record with youngsters says it all and he’d like get game time right away if he joined within the next two years as Erik Lamela, Heung-Min Son and others have blown hot and cold out wide over the past few years. Look at what Pochettino has done for Harry Kane and Dele Alli, while fellow Ajax products Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen have flourished under him at Spurs.

Much has been made of Jose Mourinho chatting with Kluivert Jnr. on the pitch after Manchester United’s Europa League final victory against Ajax last season, but would moving to Old Trafford to compete with Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford for playing time be a smart move? Nope.

Arsenal would be a better option than Chelsea for Kluivert, as the latter stockpile young talent and barely use them before loaning them out and then hopefully making a profit on the deal, while the Gunners have at least got a history of giving youngsters a chance.

But if I was Justin Kluivert I’d go to Spurs.

Report: Man City to seal $43M Fred purchase in summer

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A report out of Brazil says Manchester City’s failed January pursuit of Fred will yield a success in the summer.

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s first Barca goal ]

City has reached an agreement with the player and could add the 24-year-old center midfielder from Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee of approximately $43 million, if a report from UOL Esporte is to be believed.

Pep Guardiola got an up close look at Fred in a pair of UEFA Champions League group stage matches which includes one of City’s few losses this season.

Fred has two goals and four assists this season as Shakhtar prepares for the Champions League Round of 16 and two legs against AS Roma.

A box-to-box player, Fred can also lie deeper in a defensive role.

Judging by WhoScored.com and our Champions League-watching eyeballs, Fred has been a top performer for Shakhtar. The Brazilian was suspended from international competition for doping from 2015-17.

PFA urges Mahrez, Leicester to resolve standoff “as soon as possible”

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It’s been a full week since Riyad Mahrez went AWOL and Leicester City’s star winger appears set to continue his absence, though the Professional Footballers’ Association, the union which typically represents and defends players’ interests, has urged the two sides to come to a resolution “as soon as possible.”

[ MORE: Forecasting the Premier League’s top-four race ]

Depending on how one chooses to interpret PFA chief Gordon Taylor’s recent comments (below), you could easily make the case that the PFA has taken the rare stance of siding with the club after Mahrez failed to report for training after a move to Manchester City failed to materialize on transfer deadline day, despite the fact the 26-year-old Algerian handed in an official transfer request.

Taylor says the PFA has offered to serve as a mediator between player and club, should Mahrez choose to come to the negotiating table — quotes from the BBC:

“If the issue needs us to help then the offer has been made. Leicester are looking to be patient and understanding.

“We hope the player will appreciate the situation as it is at the moment. The sooner this is sorted out the better for everyone.

“But sometimes these things can take a short time and other times a lot longer.”

Leicester, who signed Mahrez from French side Le Havre for just over $500,000 in January 2014, stand to wind up the biggest losers in the whole ordeal. At some point (almost certainly in the summer), Mahrez will get his move away from the King Power Stadium and he’ll find himself back in the Champions League, where a player of his caliber unquestionably belongs.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s Courtois talking new deal, but “heart is in Madrid” ]

Not only will the Foxes lose arguably their best-ever player, but any negotiating power they might have once held, is long gone. If Mahrez simply refuses to make himself available for training and games, the situation is untenable for the club, and they’ll be forced to sell. Whereas Man City might have been willing to pay $85 million last month, that number will probably fall to somewhere nearer to $50 million in the summer, given recent developments.

Report: Crystal Palace’s Mutch nearing MLS move

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While Crystal Palace tangled with Newcastle United on Sunday, one of its unused players was making progress on a move to Major League Soccer.

Jordon Mutch, a young 26, has not been able to get any time for Palace this season, and is being linked with Vancouver Whitecaps.

[ MORE: 2 Robbies on Arsenal, Pogba ]

ESPN says talks are at an “advanced stage” between the two parties.

Mutch scored seven Premier League goals for Cardiff in 2013-14, but has not found the back of the net in the top flight during 40 appearances between QPR and Palace.

He scored for Reading on loan in the Championship last season.

In theory, Mutch at his best would be a huge factor in MLS. But it’s not like just everyone on a Premier League roster can skip over the pond and succeed (though most legit starters have done so).

A box-to-box guy who can make plays and swing out left on occasion? Worth the risk.