Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Which big spender has their eye on Yohan Cabaye?

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Monday’s hottest rumor comes courtesy of France, where Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in bringing Yohan Cabaye back to his native land. After Cabaye scored two in Newcastle’s 3-1 victory at West Ham on Saturday, the midfielder’s stock is rising, but rich PSG are rarely hampered by such pedestrian details. The Ligue 1 leaders, who already hold a five-point advantage, would be willing to part with as much as $42.7m to convince Newcastle to sell. Considering the Magpies are currently eighth in the table, thanks in part to Cabaye’s excellent football and seven goals, even that amount may not be enough to pry him away – although Newcastle would certainly rather see Cabaye head to France than to Manchester United.

Keeping to the continent for a moment, there’s talk of Liverpool chasing Mohamed Salah, who most likely caught their eye while playing Champions League football for Swiss side Basel. The 21 year old winger is reputedly angling for a move to the Premier League, although cost could keep the Reds from making a move. It seems Basel want $23m for the Egyptian, but sources differ as to whether Liverpool are prepared to pony up $20m or play it cool with a $13m bid.

Over to Spain now, where it seems Diego López could be on the move away from Real Madrid. The 32 year old goalkeeper re-joined the Spanish giants from Sevilla last January, and has retained his starting spot over Iker Casillas. Still, Manchester City are set to tempt him away, although no details on the offer have been provided. Poor Joe Hart – his form has vastly improved, and he must be hoping that Borussia Dortmund sounds more appealing to López.

Now it’s back to the British Isles, where media outlets are pouncing on the news that not one but two clubs might want Scottish international Alan Hutton. The right back hasn’t played a single match for Aston Villa in the past season and a half, spending last year on loan with Nottingham Forest, then relegation-battling Mallorca. The Spaniards weren’t set to buy, however, and now, one presumes, he’s simply bumming around Birmingham in between international matches. But Stoke City could change all that – if Fulham don’t get there first. Or Norwich. Hutton’s best fit might be with the Potters, however, helping Stoke get back to basics in defense and linking up with compatriot Charlie Adam once more.

Finally we land in East London. Rumor has it that West Ham are in for Arsenal centerback Thomas Vermaelen, although Sam Allardyce admits he’s unlikely to have any chance with the Belgian. Surely Vermaelen must be open to a move away from Arsenal, as the performances of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have kept him limited to just 11 appearances in all competitions, but Big Sam’s likely being realistic when he admits it’s unlikely West Ham will get anyone of Vermaelen’s quality. Especially since Napoli, set for more Champions League play next season and desperate to add another centerback, are rumored to want the defender.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

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


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Halted World Cup flip-throw heard around the world

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Milad Mohammadi knew the time was right for something special, but special isn’t always good.

And good is a subjective term. Cause to us this is very good, Milad.

The Iranian national team defender failed with a flip-throw bid in the final moments of a 1-0 loss to Spain on Wednesday at the World Cup in Russia.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

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

And this wasn’t like he illegally flipped or broke some other rule. No, like a kid trying an audacious jump into the deep end, Akhmat Grozny star Mohammadi just bailed and climbed in from the side (so to speak).

The kiss, the look skyward, the headbutt… all integral parts of a wonderful World Cup moment.

Renard, Morocco ‘very proud’ of unlucky national team

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If you would’ve told Morocco fans or their manager, Herve Renard, that they’d outshoot and outpossess both Iran and Portugal at World Cup, their next question would probably be, “So do we need to do against Spain to win Group B?”

Alas, Morocco lost a pair of 1-0 decisions to become the first team knocked out of the 2018 World Cup.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The Lions of Atlas fell to Iran in their opener on a stoppage time own goal after carrying 64 percent possession and a 13-8 advantage in shot attempts, then lost to a Cristiano Ronaldo fourth minute goal on Wednesday despite a 16-10 shot advantage and 53 percent of the ball.

“I’m very proud of the performance and I am very proud of my players, I’m very proud of this country,” Renard said.

With no hope of advancing to the next round, the manager is finding the experience bittersweet. From RTE:

“What I am sure of at this moment is that the entire Moroccan people is proud of this team. Of course it’s easier to play with a player who has one chance and he puts it away. But we are in Morocco.

“We have quality players. Despite the ups and downs of the game, we should have been more effective. Because, like in the first game, we had plenty of chances. I won’t blame anyone. That’s football. It’s always those who know how to be present in the box, the most gifted players, who make the difference. We took a lot of risks and we didn’t get our reward.”

It’s unlikely Morocco will hold either of those statistical advantages against Spain, especially a Spanish side yet to qualify, but there is plenty to like from the tournament aside from poor finishing quality.

But the performances of 19-year-olds Amine Harit (Schalke) and Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid) — not to mention Hakim Ziyech (25, Ajax) — seem to hint at a promise for 2022. And Renard’s men can still play spoiler for Spain, which is no small shockwave.