Newcastle sells Debuchy to Arsenal, picks up World Cup semifinal back

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Two very poorly-kept secrets are out in the open, as Newcastle United has announced both the sale of French defender Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal and the purchase of his replacement from Feyenoord.

Daryl Janmaat comes to the St. James Park fresh off a World Cup semifinal run with the Netherlands, where he played five of the side’s seven games. Janmaat picked up assists against Chile and Brazil, and turns 25 on July 22.

The sale of Debuchy, who turns 29 this month, will yield a profit for the Magpies. He cost Newcastle about $9.4 million two years ago, and Arsenal will reportedly pay slightly over $17 million for his services.

And Debuchy may even be an upgrade over Bacary Sagna, who left Arsenal for Manchester City earlier this offseason. Confident in the tackle and more-than-willing to get forward, Debuchy was a pivotal part of Newcastle’s success.

With Janmaat reportedly costing in the neighborhood of $8.5 million, it’s a pretty good bit of business for the Northeast club as well. Newcastle has already brought in Ajax mid Siem de Jong to go with French striker Emmanuel Riviere and playmaker Remy Cabella this offseason. Spanish forward Ayoze Perez was the first of what is now five signings for Pardew as he aims to make amends for a historically-poor finish to the 2013/14 season.

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Here’s what Newcastle boss Alan Pardew says about Janmaat:

 “We are delighted to bring Daryl to the Club. He is the perfect example of a modern full-back; someone who is good defensively but offers a real threat going forward as well.

“Daryl had an excellent World Cup and we are looking forward to him continuing that form for Newcastle.”

It’s fair to say NUFC owner Mike Ashley is surprising many fans after not spending for permanent transfers for close to a year. The French-flavored side now has a further splash of Dutch, and — if they can manager to hold onto Tim Krul and Moussa Sissoko — things are looking promising up North.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.