Thursday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Song to Liverpool, Abel Hernandez to Hull

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Hull City are set to splash the cash they received for Shane Long, as the Tigers are lining up Uruguayan international Abel Hernandez. The Palermo striker,  24, would be a club record signing for last seasons FA Cup runners up and would be a massive buy for Steve Bruce’s side. Speaking to reporters, Bruce confirmed the deal is close and Hernandez has already been seen at Hull’s training ground. With only Yannick Sagbo and Nikica Jelavic as recognized strikers at the KC Stadium, they need new additions for a potential Europa League push.

[RELATED: Welbeck to Spurs?]

According to the Daily Mail Sunderland are close to signing Inter Milan winger Ricky Alvarez on a season-long loan. The Argentina international will move to the Stadium of Light on a temporary basis and Gus Poyet’s side will then have the option of signing him permanently at the end of the season for $14 million. Alvarez, 26, is 6 foot 2 and will provide a touch of class on the flank for the Black Cats, he went to the World Cup with Argentina this summer and his signing would be somewhat of a coup for Sunderland.

Crystal Palace are closing in on re-signing winger Wilfried Zaha from Manchester United. Palace sold Zaha to United last season for $22 million but the England winger has failed to break through at Old Trafford and was loaned out to Cardiff City last season. It is believed that new Palace boss Neil Warnock has already spoken to Zaha about bringing him back to Selhurst Park on loan.

[RELATED: Hernandez to Juve, Valencia]

Reports in England are linking Liverpool with signing FC Barcelona midfielder Alex Song. The former Arsenal player has been linked with Tottenham this week and is said to be out of Luis Enrique’s plans at the Nou Camp. Song, 26, is a holding midfielder and even though it seems like Liverpool are well stocked in that area with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva, Welshman Joe Allen has been linked with a move away from Anfield so Song could arrive on loan from Barca to fill that void.

Finally, Lewis Holtby could be on his way out of Tottenham after failing to break into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans. Holtby, 23, could be heading back to the Bundesliga as the German international seeks first-team soccer. Hamburg are said to be keen on taking the attacking midfielder on loan, while Holtby just wants to play. The London Evening Standard believe a deal is close.

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Don’t forget to tune in to the “Transfer Deadline Day Show” on NBCSN (Monday, 6-8 p.m. ET).

Group C wide open as Denmark, Australia settle for draw

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Denmark and Australia settled for a 1-1 draw on Thursday, as this exciting Group C affair had nothing to separate the two nations at the end of 90 minutes.

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As it stands, the Danes lead the group with four points, while Australia earned its first point of the World Cup.

France will meet Peru later on Thursday, with Les Bleus having won its first match and Peru having suffered defeat to Denmark.

The Danes broke through after seven minutes when Nicolai Jørgensen picked out a perfect back-heel pass to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, before the Tottenham Hotspur attacker volleyed home for a 1-0 lead.

Jørgensen nearly doubled the Denmark advantage in the 24th minute when the 27-year-old had an open header from close range that skewed just wide of the target.

Australia worked its way into the match following the opener, and were awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute after VAR Mark Geiger altered an initial decision for a handball inside the box.

Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to level the match at 1-1, giving the Socceroos life.

A dangerous free kick four minutes later almost gave Denmark the lead once again, however, Eriksen couldn’t get a crucial touch on the ball to knock it over the goal line before Ryan collected.

The second half continued with lightning pace from both sides, and Aaron Mooy‘s 71st minute blast came inches away from giving Australia an improbable lead.

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The two nations will conclude Group C play on June 26, as Denmark faces France and Australia takes on CONMEBOL side Peru.

Video: VAR awards Australia penalty, before Jedinak converts

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The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.

Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.

After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.

Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.

Video: Eriksen volley has Denmark ahead inside 10 minutes

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Denmark is well on its way to another three points on Thursday, and this time it’s Christian Eriksen who has finally broken through at the World Cup.

 MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Eriksen put the Danes in front in the seventh minute after a tremendous volley that gave Australia goalkeeper Maty Ryan no chance at keeping it out.

After a sloppy turnover in their own half, Australia could only watch as the ball fell to Nicolai Jørgensen, who cleverly back-heeled to Eriksen at the top of the box.

The Danes pulled off a 1-0 victory in their first Group C match against Peru, while Australia fell 2-1 to France.

Croatia coach says “we have nothing to lose” against Argentina

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Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic chose his words wisely when discussing their final Group D opponent, Argentina, but his side won’t be backing down when they take on Lionel Messi and Co.

[ MORE: Spain gets win after Iran equalizer called off by replay ]

With three points already in the bag for the European nation, Croatia currently sits atop their group, however, Dalic recognizes the task that lies in front of him and his team on Thursday.

“I didn’t say that Argentina was the easiest opponent,” Dalic said. “I said that this was the easiest game for us. We have nothing to lose. We are playing against one of the best.”

Croatia does have the benefit of having won its first match in group play, which has given the side a decided enthusiasm heading into the meeting.

For Ivan Rakitic — who plays at Barcelona with Messi — he believes there isn’t much he or anyone on his team can say or do to further prepare themselves for the Albiceleste.

“What can I tell them that they don’t know?” Rakitic said. “The world knows. Messi is one of the best players in the world. He will have his moments, clearly. It is up to us to stop him, to play the right way against him, and to enjoy the match and play our best.

“It’s a beautiful thing to play against one of the best teams in the world. We are especially motivated.”

In four all-time meetings, Argentina leads 2-1-1 against Croatia, including a 1-0 victory during the 1998 World Cup in France.

The two teams last met in 2014 following Argentina’s World Cup final defeat to Germany, with Messi and Co. earning a 2-1 victory over Croatia.