Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Tottenham want Croatian revival and Peter Crouch to West Ham

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With the first day of July comes a plethora of interesting Premier League transfer rumors to wet your whistle.

We start in North London where Tottenham is reportedly in talks with Dinamo Zagreb teenage talents Alen Halilovic and Tin Jedvaj. Halilovic, touted as the new Luka Modric, and Jedvaj, a 6’2″ center-back, are both 17 years old and would cost Spurs £17.1 million ($26m) for the pair.

In other words, so long, Scotty Parker. Enjoy Sunderland.

Down the road at Arsenal, the Gunners have been denied in their recent pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, Lars Bender. The German outfit, having already sold right-back Dani Carvajal to Real Madrid and Andre Schurrle to Chelsea, rejected a bid reported to be in the range of £12.8-19.7 million ($19.6-30.2m).

More: Arsenal’s bid for Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender is rejected

Over in West London, it appears Chelsea have bid £42.7 million ($65m) for the second coming of Jesus, more commonly known as Edinson Cavani. Napoli quickly shot down the bid, noting they were “puzzled” as to why the bid was £11.2m short of Cavani’s release clause.

Sensing some tension here on the part of Napoli. Better call Monaco.

Speaking of which, Liverpool appears like they may miss out on left-back Lucas Digne, who looks destined for the vast riches of French Riviera. The 19 year old Frenchman has made 48 appearances for Lille since making his first team debut in 2011.

That deep sigh of relief you just heard? Just Jose Enrique, reclining back on his loveseat.

Over in Manchester, City continues its hunt for a new striker to replace the departed Carlos Tevez. The flavor of the day is Benfica front-man, Oscar Cardozo, who scored 17 goals in 21 appearances in last season’s Primeira Liga. The 30 year old Paraguayan international is likely to cost the Citizens upwards of £13 million ($19.8m), which is £3 million ($4.6m) more than what they commanded from Juventus for Tevez.

Yeah, that deal makes sense. Very, very little sense.

On the red side of town, rumors that Nemandja Vidic is set to quit Old Trafford for AC Milan have been rubbished by the player’s agent, Silvano Martina, who told Italian newspaper Fantagazzetta: “We are talking with no-one. This is all pub talk.”

Wait a minute, Silvano. Are you implying that pub talk has no merit? Someone please remind this guy how much we love the pubs.

At Stoke, we may have witnessed Peter Crouch‘s last match in a Potters kit after the tall drink of water admitted that he is unsure of his future at the Britannia: “With my history, you just don’t know,” Crouchy said. “I’ve never really had a lot of contact with Mark Hughes.”

But that’s a good thing, right? If the robot dancing sensation does leave Stoke, reports claim he could team up with Andy Carroll at West Ham. The thought alone has Sam Allardyce in hog-heaven over the prospect of having a combined 13 foot tall strike-partnership to head home 60 yard bombs from the defense.

Meanwhile, over in the West Midlands, Paul Lambert looks to continue his youth revolution but is having major problems pushing bloated Darren Bent through the door. Newcastle and Fulham look to be suitors but both appear turned off by Lambert’s £8 million ($12.2m) asking price for the 29 year old.

New rule – whatever club takes on Bent for anything more than a free transfer should be immediately relegated.

Finally, up in Sunderland, Paulo di Canio is looking to bring in more than just a disgruntled Scotty Parker, he wants that young, fresh face everyone has been swooning over since the FA Cup final, Wigan’s Callum McManaman.

The winger is valued around £8million ($12.2m) and would fit in well with the Black Cats having already tried to snap the leg of Newcastle midfielder Massadio Haidara.

Croatia smashes disheveled Argentina

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Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, and Ivan Rakitic have Croatia in the knockout rounds and Argentina on the verge of World Cup disaster.

Croatia scored a pair of second half goals, one aided by a Willy Caballero howler, in a 2-0 win in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday.

Argentina will enter its final match against Nigeria on the outskirts of the knockout rounds regardless of how Nigeria-Iceland ends on Friday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Ivan Perisic forced a big save out of Wily Caballero for an early Croatia corner kick that came to nothing.

Messi had a chance stopped inside of 10 minutes, then started a play that Dejan Lovren blocked for a corner in the 13th.

Enzo Perez missed an open goal off a poor Croatia giveaway in the 30th minute.

There were a pair of fouls not out of place on a red card lowlight reel, one for each team, but neither resulting in a sending off.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

Croatia took the lead through Caballero’s gaffe and Rebic’s smash in the 54th.

Argentina nearly answered moments later. After a mazy Messi dribble, Argentina regained possession in the 64th minute, spearheaded by a Gonzalo Higuain run that led to a corner.

Croatia came close to making it 2-0, as Mario Mandzukic couldn’t turn a flick on frame and instead saw it glide into the outside of the goal.

Then Modric put the match to bed as the clock hit 80, an absolute beauty. Another huge defensive mistake allowed Mateo Kovacic to cue up Rakitic for the third.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

WATCH: Caballero blunder punished as Rebic rip puts Argentina on ropes

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Willy Caballero has made one of the bigger blunders in recent World Cup history.

His Argentina side needs at least a point from Thursday’s match-up with Croatia, and the match remained scoreless into halftime.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

But 10 minutes after the break, Caballero flubbed a clearance in a big way.

The Argentina goalkeeper then could only watch as Ante Rebic kept his composure to blast a side volley into the goal.

It was a fine finish, to be sure, but not possible without such a terrible gaffe.

Transfer rumor roundup: Chelsea in for Pjanic; Lozano to Juventus?

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Pro Soccer Talk examines some of Thursday’s top transfer stories, including a Premier League giant looking to add to its midfield.

[ MORE: Uruguay reaches Round of 16 courtesy of Luis Suarez ]


Chelsea could be set to join Barcelona in the race for Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, according to the Daily Mail.

The Blues and new manager Maurizio Sarri are said to be open to looking to Serie A to solve some of the team’s troubled areas, including in the center of the park to join France international N'Golo Kante.

Sarri is already said to be keen on signing Napoli star Dries Mertens, whom he has coached for several years at the Stadio San Paolo


Meanwhile, Juve has interest in a World Cup star, with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano attracting significant looks from around the world.

Lozano scored for El Tri in their 1-0 victory over Germany to open their 2018 World Cup campaign, and has become an instant star in the Dutch Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven.

PSV would reportedly be willing to complete a deal if the Serie A champions shell out over $40 million.


Sticking with Juve, Emre Can‘s move to the Turin side appears to be close to finalization.

Can is set to have a medical in Italy on Thursday, as the 24-year-old anticipates completing a five-year contract with the Serie A giants.


Finally, West Ham United is looking to add to its attacking options next season, and the club could be nearing a record move.

Lazio winger Felipe Anderson is reportedly set to come to the London Stadium in 2018/19 as the Hammers prepare a $46 million deal.

Anderson tallied four goals in 21 Serie A matches last season for the Biancocelesti.

RB Leipzig names Julian Nagelsmann future manager

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Julian Nagelsmann won’t take over at his new club until the 2019/20 season, but Red Bull Leipzig has put a lot of confidence in one of the youngest managers in global football.

[ MORE: Ronaldo’s tally gives Portugal win over Morocco ]

On Thursday, the Bundesliga side announced the appointment of the Hoffenheim coach, who will continue in his current capacity for the upcoming 2018/19 German campaign.

Nagelsmann signs on with Leipzig until the conclusion of the 2022/23 season.

The 30-year-old has spent two seasons managing Hoffenheim, guiding the club to back-to-back top-four finishes in the Bundesliga.

Leipzig is currently without a manager ahead of the next season, so it remains unclear who will take over until Nagelsmann assumes his role in 2019.