With Gonzalo Higuain impressing in his first year with Rafa Benitez at Napoli, questions will naturally arise about his future this summer.
It’s a situation to monitor for Premier League fans, because it could hit England on multiple fronts if he decides to leave.
First of all, Arsenal’s failed attempts to land the Argentinian last summer could resurface, as Arsene Wenger hopes not to traverse next season with the lack of striker depth as he did this year.
That’s the most direct potential result, but the Gunners’ bitter London rivals could also be affected.
If Higuain were to leave, rumors out of Italy have tabbed struggling Tottenham forward Roberto Soldado as a potential replacement.
Soldado has taken quite some time to adjust to the physical nature of the Premier League, and Serie A could be the perfect escape should he decide he’s had enough of England.
The Italian league is much more suited to Soldado’s on-ball abilities and poacher qualities, whereas he’s struggled in England trying to find gaps in defenses as well as finishing opportunities. In addition, his poor Premier League form could allow Napoli to buy the Spaniard at a discounted price.
However, it should be noted that in the past, Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy has not been one to offload struggling talent quickly, instead often opting to give his purchases more time to adjust.
With Napoli, Higuain has bagged 14 goals and seven assists this Serie A season, and 21 goals overall in his first season in Naples. Benitez brought the 26-year-old to the Azzurri for $51 million from Real Madrid, where he spent six successful seasons.
Pro Soccer Talk takes a glance at some of the biggest transfer rumors on Sunday…
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We start in Manchester, where the Red Devils are reportedly interested in raiding their cross-town rivals for a back-up goalkeeper.
Man United is said to have interest in Manchester City’s Joe Hart, who missed out on being called up to England for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Hart has spent the last two seasons on loan from the Citizens, spending 2016/17 in Serie A with Torino and this past season with West Ham United.
Sticking with United, the Red Devils are preparing a new contract for Anthony Martial, according to the Sun.
Martial has become a regular for United since joining from Monaco in 2015, scoring 36 goals in all competitions.
Finally, Danny Rose could be making a Merseyside move if Everton has it their way.
The Toffees are eyeing up the Tottenham left back, although Manchester United has also expressed its interest in the England international.
Rose missed a significant portion of the 2017/18 season due to a knee injury, and the 27-year-old could be on the move this summer despite spending the last 11 seasons in London with Spurs.
It took a late finish to nab three points on Sunday, but England’s title defence at the Toulon Tournament is off an running.
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The Three Lions’ Under-21 squad picked up a 2-1 win in their Group A opener against China, after having fallen behind to the Asian nation inside the opening half hour.
England, winners of the last two editions of the competition, conceded in the 20th minute to Yan Dinghao, and went into the halftime break behind 1-0.
Manager Paul Simpson and his side came out strong in the second stanza, though, and found an equalizer five minutes in through Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry‘s header.
It seemed as though England would be destined for a point, however, Tammy Abraham‘s tap-in finish in the 85th minute ensured a crucial victory to open the tournament for the Three Lions.
England will round out Group A with matches against Mexico and Qatar on March 28 and June 1, respectively.
At the Toulon Tournament, the three group winners automatically reach the semifinals, while the best second-place nation also receives a bid into the final four.
As a move to Major League Soccer becomes more of a reality, D.C. United’s manager has confirmed the team’s interest in a legendary Premier League goalscorer.
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Following Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Los Angeles FC, Ben Olsen told media that there is legitimate interest from him and his side in Wayne Rooney, who traveled to the United States earlier in the week to visit Washington D.C. and the club’s new Audi Field.
“There is interest in Wayne Rooney from our end and I think there is interest from his end too,” Olsen said. “I hope it can get over the line because he’s a very good player who can help us. He would be a great player for this league.”
Although ongoing negotiations appear to be progressing in a positive manner, no deal has been struck between D.C. and Rooney’s camp yet, to which Olsen said he and his team have to continue as they have until the Everton forward completes a move.
“Nothing is done, so I don’t want to get into talk of arrival until he actually arrives,” Olsen added.
“Nothing is ever done in this world and when you’re looking at a deal of this scope and size. We’ll see, but hopefully we can get it done.”
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) Samuel Armenteros scored twice and the Portland Timbers extended their franchise-record winning streak to six with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.
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Armenteros flicked Sebastian Blanco‘s pass around defender Danny Wilson and then beat him to it for a chip finish that opened the scoring for Portland (6-3-2) in the 29th minute.
Julio Cascante gave one back to Colorado (2-7-2) in the 31st with an own goal on a stab attempt to clear away Edgar Castillo’s cross.
Armenteros made it 2-1 in the 37th minute, heading back Tim Howard‘s attempt to punch away Blanco’s cross.
Diego Valeri settled Blanco’s diagonal cross and slotted one past Howard in the 57th minute to make it 3-1.
Yannick Boli cut Colorado’s deficit to one with a penalty kick in the ninth minute of stoppage time but referee Sorin Stoica blew the final whistle before allowing play to resume.
Colorado has lost six in a row, its longest such streak since losing seven straight in 2014.