Transfer needs – Everton, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City

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With the summer transfer window either rushing or creeping toward completion, depending on whether you want your club to buy a new player or hold onto an asset, it’s due time we address the needs of each team with time ticking away.

[RELATED: Summer transfer window news]

[RELATED: Balotelli arrives at Anfield]

Everton

Roberto Martinez has added some key pieces over the summer with the main signing Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea for a whopping $47 million. That’s a lot of cash for the Toffees to splash but they needed to. Bringing in free agents Gareth Barry (who spent last season on loan at Everton) and Samuel Eto’o will proved the squad with plenty of experience and the additions of Christian Atsu on loan and versatile Bosnian international Mohamed Besic are good pick ups. Unlikely that Martinez will do much more business but with Everton in the Europa League this season, he may need to get a few more players in to bolster the squad.

Hull City

The Tigers need to do some business and it will hinge on their progress to the Europa League group stage. Steve Bruce has sold Shane Long for $20 million to Southampton and is desperate to bring in some more attackers with his big summer signing, Robert Snodgrass, out for six months after suffering a horrible injury on his debut. Defender Michael Dawson has arrived from Spurs but Hull will need plenty more signings between now and next Monday if they’re going to stave off relegation and compete in Europe. New additions up front, especially after their failed attempt to sign Jordan Rhodes, are key with just Yannick Sagbo and Nikica Jelavic as their recognizes strikers.

[RELATED: Transfer needs – Arsenal, Aston Villa, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace]

Leicester City

The Foxes have been frugal in the summer window with four free transfers incluing Matt Upson, Jack Barmby and Marc Albrighton but they did bring in forward Leonardo Ulloa from Brighton in a club record $14 million move. They need to strengthen throughout as Nigel Pearson’s men have looked solid yet unspectacular against Everton and Chelsea to open the season. Esteban Cambiasso has been mentioned as an option in central midfield, while they are closing in on James McArthur from Wigan. Work needs to be done if Leicester are going to shake off their tag as relegation candidates.

Liverpool

Mario Balotelli. Adam Lallana. Dejan Lovren. Lazar Markovic. Rickie Lambert. Emre Can. Javier Manquillo. Alberto Moreno. Divock Origi. Yeah, it’s been a busy summer at Anfield after nine new arrivals. Luis Suarez has left and Brendan Rodgers has splashed $193 million in transfer fees after receiving $128 million from Barcelona for Suarez. Liverpool;s business seems to be done for this window but their are still rumors around that Radamel Falcao could be heading to the Reds ahead of their first Champions League campaign since 2009-10.

Manchester City

They didn’t really need to sign many players over the summer, did they? City brought in a few top players, just for arguments sake, as young French defender Eliaquim Mangala arrived from FC Porto for $59 million and destructive Brazilian midfielder, Fernando, also came from Porto for $20 million. A back up goalkeeper, Willy Caballero, and Bacary Sagna on a free from Arsenal, also arrived as Manuel Pellegrini added to his squad prudently. This summer was all about keeping their best players around as Samir Nasri, Vincent Kompany, Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero all signed new contracts. Don’t expect City to make any late signings unless an offer too good to turn down presents itself. Falcao has also been touted as a potential target for City before the window slams shut.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
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It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

Manchester United Watford live stream link
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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

coronavirus
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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf