Report: Arsenal bid $82 million for Edinson Cavani. Remy, Falcao, Welbeck linked

12 Comments

Arsenal are apparently making a move for Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, as Arsene Wenger is eager to bring in one more striker before the transfer window slams shut next Monday.

The Gunners have been rocked by a bad injury to French striker Olivier Giroud, who is expected to be out for several months after reportedly fracturing his ankle. Cavani may be the Gunners’ main target but the likes of Loic Remy, Radamel Falcao and Danny Welbeck have all been linked with a move to the Emirates.

[RELATED: Gustavo to Arsenal?]

Wenger is expected to be without a recognized forward until January 2015 at the earliest, as Arsenal are worried about deploying new $60 million signing Alexis Sanchez in the lone forward role after his struggled in that unorthodox position against Everton on Saturday.

Various reports in England, from the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star have Cavani heading to the Emirates in a $82 million move before next Monday, as they scramble for a top class forward to help them on their way. This deal hinges, of course, on the Gunners getting past Besiktas in their Champions League play-0ff on Wednesday, as the expected $100 million windfall they’d get for making the UCL group stages can be spent on Cavani right away.

Cavani’s career at Paris Saint-Germain hasn’t gone exactly as he would have expected following his $90 million move from Napoli last summer. Despite being shunted out to the wing as Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays the role as the lone forward, Cavanis still scored 25 goals in his debuts season for Les Parisiens.

However with rumors circling about Karem Benzema possibly joining PSG from Real Madrid, could the stars align to allow Cavani a move to North London? Other options include Remy from QPR, Falcao from Monaco and Welbeck from Manchester United but it seems as though Cavani is the number one target.

The Uruguayan, known as El Matador, will be the main forward at Arsenal and his physical style of play will suit the Premier League superbly. The 27-year-old is ready to step up and be the main man for a top club in Europe and with the rest of the Gunners side looking in good shape, their only issue is up top.

If Wenger pulls this deal off, it would cap off a huge summer of spending at the Emirates with over $175 million dished out to bolster the Gunners’ squad. If they are serious about being title challenge this campaign and not just battling for a top four spot, they need a central striker of the highest caliber, especially in Giroud’s absence.

Cavani’s arrival would send a huge message out to the rest of the PL: Arsenal aren’t here to mess around anymore. They’re here to win the damn thing.

VIDEO: Portugal lead Iran at HT; Spain 1-1 Morocco

Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images
1 Comment

We’re through the first 45 minutes of Monday’s Group B finales at the 2018 World Cup, and things are happening. A quick rundown…

[ SCENARIOS: Who needs what, to finish where, in final round of group games ]

Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos combined to commit a disastrous gaffe at midfield, resulting in a goal for Khalid Boutaib in the 14th minute. At this point, Spain would have finished second, behind Portugal, and headed to the far more difficult side of the knockout bracket.

Five minutes later, it was Iniesta who, with a little help from some slightly lesser geniuses, unlocked the Moroccan defense to set up Isco for an emphatic finish. La Furia Roja moved back to the top of the group, on goals scored.

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

In the afternoon’s other game, Portugal and Iran appeared destined for a 0-0 scoreline at halftime, until Ricardo Quaresma unleashed a stunning, outside-of-the-foot curler from outside the box to beat the goalkeeper and put Portugal ahead — both on the day, and in the table. As things currently stand, Portugal would win the group and Spain would finish second.

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 4

Leave a comment

In the fourth episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England players have been preparing for their next match in an unusual way, Argentina has a huge meltdown, and more.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

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

Atlanta leads way with six All-Star Fan XI selections

Atlanta United on Twitter/@ATLUTD
Leave a comment

It may be hard to believe with all the World Cup festivities going on, but the Major League Soccer season is nearly halfway over.

[ MORE: Toronto FC’s 2018 has been far from their cup-winning 2017 ]

And that means it’s almost All-Star time.

The MLS All-Stars will continue their recent tradition of facing a European superpower in August, with Juventus being welcomed to the United States in early August.

But, which players from MLS will we see in action?

Last season’s expansion sweetheart Atlanta United leads the way in the fan voting with six players from the Eastern Conference side voted into the Fan XI, including attackers Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco, Darlington Nagbe and Josef Martinez.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender/captain Michael Parkhurst also made the team from Atlanta.

In all, only five clubs were represented based on the Fan XI, with the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela and Laurent Ciman, Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi and Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri each rounding out the squad.


Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)

Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)

Saudi Arabia steals late win over Egypt in Group A finale

Getty Images
1 Comment

Saudi Arabia pulled off a late 2-1 win against Egypt on Monday in their Group A finale, as the two nations ended their 2018 World Cup run in the group stage.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Salem Al Sawsari scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to give the Saudis a late winner in the match, as the attacker struck the post in the dying moments before the ball crossed the line.

The Pharaohs took the lead in the 22nd minute, after a tremendous run from Mohamed Salah and lob over the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper.

Salah has two goals at the World Cup for Egypt, who were already eliminated heading into Monday’s match.

Saudi Arabia was granted a chance to equalize prior to halftime, however, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary brilliantly stopped Hattan Bahebri’s penalty kick in the 41st minute to preserve the Egypt advantage.

El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history to appear in a match at the age of 45.

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

The Egypt keeper wasn’t as lucky the second time around though, with Salmon Al Faraj converting a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

Saudi Arabia finishes group play in third place on three points, while Egypt goes winless in its three matches.