Tottenham table bid for Brazilian star Paulinho

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The first signs that Andre Villas-Boas is set to stay on as Tottenham’s manager are beginning to surface, as Brazilian midfielder Paulinho has revealed Spurs have made a bid for him.

With AVB seemingly planning ahead for next season, after intense speculation linking him with the Paris Saint-Germain job, Spurs have made a $25 million bid for the Corinthians man who revealed the interest himself.

Paulinho also stated that he would sit down with his family to discuss any potential move and is waiting until the end of the Confederations Cup tournament before making any decisions.

Corinthians director of football, former Arsenal midfielder Edu, revealed things are moving forward. “The situation is well under way. We have to agree on some details of the negotiation, so I can’t say he will leave yet, but the negotiations are good.”

So what can Tottenham fans expect from the Brazilian if he arrives at White Hart Lane?

England fans will remember his scorching volley late on in the recent 2-2  friendly tie at the Maracana, but Paulinho is better known for his aerial prowess and touch-tackling.

Spurs fans don’t need to worry about the 24-year-old being a direct replacement for Gareth Bale either. Paulinho is 6 foot tall and is a typical box-to-box midfielder who supplements his defensive work with long-bursting runs forward.

Think of Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Ramires, but taller.

With Paulinho possibly arriving, could it spell the end for Tom Huddlestone, Mousa Dembele or Scott Parker? One of them will surely have to move on if Paulinho does sign for Spurs. Dembele could be the most likely after his career at Spurs has stalled after failing to recapture the form that saw him impress at Fulham.

Whether or not Paulinho arrives, Spurs are now able to attract top players from across the globe as AVB leads them onwards and upwards. Of course they would love to be in the Champions League this season after their narrow miss, but if Gareth Bale remains and AVB can add quality throughout the spine of his team, Spurs can definitely challenge for the top four given all the changes and upheaval at Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United over this summer.

While Paulinho ponders a move to the Premier League, AVB seems to be continuing his hard work behind the scenes. That must be music to the ears of Tottenham fans.

Clinical Russia tops Egypt to reach knockout rounds

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  • Russia goals: Fathy o.g. (48′), Cheryshev (59′), Dzyuba (62′)
  • Egypt: Salah (PK, 73′)
  • Next: Russia-Uruguay, Egypt-Saudi Arabia

Hosts Russia scored a trio of second half goals to clinch the first spot in the 2018 World Cup’s Round of 16 with a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg.

The loss means Egypt is 0-2, the Pharoahs unable to find momentum despite the return of Mohamed Salah. Egypt needs a wild combination of factors to stay alive for the knockout rounds, and is likely heading home.

Salah won and converted a penalty for Egypt, while Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba, and an Egyptian own goal accounted for Russia’s goals.

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Some sloppy play out of the back allowed Golovin a shot from outside the 18 but he hit his effort wide of the frame.

Egypt stayed in the mix though, and a Russian mistake  deep in its own end forced Zhirkov to concede a corner with a desperation intervention that stopped Mo Salah from a doorstep opportunity.

Salah then won a yard of space but fired wide in the 42nd minute after Zhirkov stopped him from going to his right peg.

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Russia went ahead through an Egypt own goal from Fathy, who was jostling for position with Artem Dzyuba and turned Roman Zobnin’s mishit inside his net.

After Cheryshev made it 2-0, Dzyuba took an Ilya Kutepov long ball out of the air with his chest before turning past Ahmed Hegazy and blasting Russia’s third goal home.

Salah won a penalty in the 73rd minute, one initially ruled a free kick, and the Liverpool man blasted his shot home.

Neymar limps out of Brazil training

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Having drawn against Switzerland in its opener, Brazil now faces renewed concerns over the health of its megastar forward.

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Neymar’s right foot was “still not 100 percent” when he took the field for the 1-1 draw on Sunday, and the 26-year-old left practice early two days later.

He missed nearly three months after fracturing his foot for PSG under pressure by Marseille’s Dimitri Payet, but returned to score for Brazil in friendly defeats of Croatia and Austria. Neymar has 55 goals in 85 caps.

Neymar was favoring his right foot as he limped off the pitch, two days after being fouled 10 times against Switzerland. Fox reports that Neymar will be fine to practice on Wednesday, but the situation bears close observation.

Neymar was injured in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals when Juan Zuniga kneed him in the back.

Salah returns to Egypt starting lineup

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A familiar name returned to the starting lineup for Egypt on Tuesday afternoon.

Egypt named star Mohamed Salah in its starting XI, after resting Salah in Egypt’s 1-0 defeat to Uguruay on June 15. Salah has been recovering from an injured shoulder that he suffered during the UEFA Champions League final in late May.

Salah makes his World Cup debut now against the host nation, Russia, at 2:00 p.m.

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Senegal hold off late charge, defeat Poland on controversial goal

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Two matches, two upsets.

For the second time on Tuesday, an underdog took down a favorite as Senegal defeated Poland, 2-1, with the game-winning goal decided in controversial fashion.

In the 60th minute, M’baye Niang was waved onto the field by the referee while the ball was still in play in the middle of the field, and Niang raced on to the end of a Gregorz Krychowiak backpass that stunned the Poland defense. Niang arrived at the pass a second quicker than goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, allowing the Senegal winger to score into an empty net.

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The VAR checked the goal but it was allowed, as it was a subjective decision of the referee to allow Niang back on the field following an injury, and not a clear and obvious error.

Senegal took the lead in the first half on the counter attack. With Poland slow in transition, Sadio Mane found Idrissa Gueye in space at the top of the box. After two touches, Gueye fired a strike to the far post in the 37th minute that took a wicked deflection off Poland defender Thiago Cionek and left Szczesny helpless.

Poland struggled all game against the pace and physicality of Senegal and the Lions of Teranga were very smart in controlling possession and switching the field, forcing the Poland squad to tire quickly.

Krychowiak did breathe some life into the game with a header goal off a free kick in the 86th minute, but despite some poor clock management from Senegal, its defense was able to hold off Poland’s last-ditch chance to tie the game, going level with Japan on three points at the top of Group H.