Tottenham Hotspur close to securing David Villa?

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Tottenham are already planning for next season.

And David Villa seems to be the man at the top of Andre Vilas-Boas’ wishlist.

The Spanish star has just one year left on his contract at Barcelona, with the 31-year-old striker looking for a fresh challenge after a frustrating last few seasons at Barcelona.

A bad leg break and loss of form have hampered Villa’s appearances since the 2011-12 season, but he would be a steal at $15-18 million, as is rumored to be the price tag around his neck.

But do Spurs really need a striker? Oh yes.

For most of last season Gareth Bale was their one and only option for goals. He managed 21 in the league from a deep-lying position on the wing or in midfield.

Think how well Spurs could’ve done if they had a 15-20 goal striker to add to Bale’s dominance? That is scary. Only Everton from the EPL’s top seven scored less than Spurs’ 66 goals last season.

AVB knows he’s not too far away from building a side that can compete with the top two. Spurs just need an extra spark up front if they’re going to get to that next level.

Can Villa provide that? Perhaps. He is a quality finisher, has won just about every trophy in the land and a change of scenery and new challenge could be the making of him. Here is a little visual reminder of what the former Valencia star can do. Enjoy.

If you look at Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor this season, Tottenham’s two main strikers, they scored 16 league goals between them. If you are challenging for a top four spot, you should be expecting 16 goals from each of your main strikers.

That proved to be the difference for Spurs as they narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification to North London rivals Arsenal on the final day of the season.

Sorry for the painful reminder, Spurs fans.

So Villa could be the answer. If not, AVB knows he needs to strengthen going forward. But with Clint Dempsey injured for vast swathes of the 2012-13 season, maybe he can provide the answer to boost Tottenham’s goalscoring prowess?

Just throwing that out there. Regardless, it would be great to see Villa suit up in the EPL.

Liverpool to lose $82m Alisson to Real; Klopp turns to Lazio GK?

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Brazilian national team starter and Liverpool transfer target Alisson looks increasingly likely to only see Anfield as a visitor.

Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport says Real Madrid is going to tempt Roma with an $82 million bid that could rise with add-ons.

[ MORE: Lozano to Barcelona? ]

And Real would also offer a near $6 million annual salary to the Brazilian backstop.

It’s coincidence that this news comes on the day that both Alisson and current Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas were at opposite ends of the pitch.

Alisson had little to do, while Costa Rican backstop Navas was outstanding until Philippe Coutinho and Neymar scored during stoppage time.

Meanwhile, TalkSport says the Reds are in on a different Serie A goalkeeper: Lazio’s Albanian backstop Thomas Strakosha.

The 23-year-old old played all 38 league games for the Roman club this season.

Lozano to Barcelona? Father says future decided after World Cup

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Mexican hero Hirving “Chucky” Lozano made the jump from Liga MX to European football last summer, and now may be set for an even bigger move.

We just won’t know until after the World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The goal scorer from Mexico’s 1-0 win over Germany will turn 23 in late July, and is coming off a 17-goal, 11-assist campaign with PSV Eindhoven.

He’s now being linked with Barcelona amongst other teams, and his father was asked about Lozano’s future. From ESPN:

“There have been approaches, but right now there’s nothing concrete,” Jesus Lozano said in an interview with ESPN when asked about reported interest from Barcelona and other teams.

“I think after the World Cup it will be clear if he stays at PSV or leaves for another team.”

So what do you think? Should the Mexican stay at PSV for playing time? I’m kidding… see how you sound, U.S. fans?

Nigeria beats Iceland; Argentina still alive

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Ahmed Musa scored a pair of terrific goals as Nigeria set up Group D for a thrilling final day with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd on Friday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was arguably Iceland’s Man of the Match before he sent a penalty kick over the bar.

Nigeria now has three points, two more than Argentina and Iceland. Nigeria plays Argentina and Croatia faces Iceland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Gylfi Sigurdsson swung a dangerous early free kick over the bar, then produced the game’s second chance. That one was caught by Francis Uzoho, the 19-year-old Deportivo de la Coruna backstop.

Nigeria’s breakthrough came courtesy a lethal counter attack, as Kenneth Omeruo headed a cross clear of the Eagles’ 18. Kelechi Iheanacho collected and found Victor Moses racing down the right flank.

Moses’ cross was collected by Musa with an unorthodox outside of the boot trap, allowing him a second against his surprised mark. Musa lashed home for 1-0.

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The game was delayed for a bit when Ragnar Sigurdsson was waylaid with a head injury.

Wilfred Ndidi had a rip deflected over the bar in the 57th, and Nigeria opted for a short corner.

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Musa then basically put it to bed when he cut into the 18 and danced around two defenders with the goalkeeper in between before putting a composed finish into the goal.

Iceland got new life through an 81st minute penalty kick awarded via Video Assistant Referee, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed it over the bar.

Jorginho to Man City? Italian report, Noel Gallagher say so

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I don’t know about you, but I like my transfer news served up piping fresh from the hot stove of Oasis.

Well, at least ex-members of Oasis.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Noted Man City fanatic Noel Gallagher was performing in Naples on Friday with his band the High Flying Birds.

After pumping through a couple Oasis tunes and a cover of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” on Thursday, the singer tossed a little banter toward the crowd.

You see, Man City really wants Napoli midfielder Jorginho, and Gallagher at least looks like a man in the know as Italy’s Corriere Della Sport is reporting that the midfielder is trading his blue shirts between countries.

Jorginho will cost City $57 million, according to the report, which follows this barb from Noel.