Late PL deals that did, and some that didn’t: Lambert, Adebayor, Lennon, and more

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The transfer window this winter was less than up to snuff excitement-wise, but there were still a few last minute deals that went through, and others that didn’t.

DEALS THAT DID:

Darren Fletcher to West Brom

There were questions whether Darren Fletcher would actually make a move or if he would stay at Manchester United, but ultimately he was confirmed to be loaned out to West Brom after the window closed. The switch ends a 20-year tenure at Manchester United for the midfielder. A solid get for the Toffees, Fletcher will do well to support the attack, although it remains to be seen how a midfield passer will do lumping the ball forward #narrative.

Aaron Lennon to Everton

Roberto Martinez has been quiet this January despite Everton’s struggles of late, but he has swooped for longtime Spurs winger Aaron Lennon, bringing the 27-year-old to White Hart Lane on loan for the rest of the year. He reportedly chose Everton over another loan options at Stoke City and Hull City, speaking to the draw of playing for Martinez. Reports suggest there could be an option to buy this summer when the loan expires.

You can read more about the deal here, from our post on the earlier rumor. The deal has now been confirmed.

Lee Chung-Young to Crystal Palace

Alan Pardew added yet another player to the busiest Premier League club of the winter when Crystal Palace announced it had signed Bolton winger Lee Chung-Young. The 26-year-old has three goals and three assists in 26 Championship appearances this season, and has signed a 3-1/2 year contract through the summer of 2018.

DEALS THAT DIDN’T:

Emmanuel Adebayor to West Ham

West Ham tried desperately to convince Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to loan out Emmanuel Adebayor, but a myriad of reports state he would not budge. Levy contemplated the move throughout the day, but ultimately decided he would not sell to a London rival. Adebayor has recently been the victim of the Hurri-Kane, with just 29 total minutes since early November 10 on just one lone teamsheet appearance.

West Ham chairman David Gold was NOT happy about it, either, ranting on Twitter about “some people you just can’t do business with,” presumably talking about Levy. Yikes.

Rickie Lambert to Aston Villa

Liverpool and Aston Villa had a deal in place to send Rickie Lambert to Villa Park, according to numerous reports, but the player didn’t want to go. With Villa looking to improve its goalscoring record (just 11 goals in 23 games so far), they were hoping Lambert would be the man to start scoring. However, he wanted to stay at Liverpool and thus the deal broke down.

This is probably best for all parties. As we saw against Arsenal, Villa have a creativity problem, not a finishing problem – especially with Christian Benteke up front – and therefore a stopgap striker like Lambert probably isn’t the best of targets. Liverpool also need the depth up front, with Mario Balotelli struggling mightily and the club still scrounging for scoring options. It seems best this didn’t come off.

Matt Jarvis to QPR

With just four Premier League appearances this season, Matt Jarvis was looking to get time outside of Upton Park, but the Premier League had other ideas. The deal was contingent on West Ham cancelling Mauro Zarate’s loan at Queens Park Rangers, and sending Jarvis there instead, but the Premier League decided the cancellation of that loan was against its rules, so none of it took place.

CCL wrap: Atlanta United, Cruz Azul advance

CONCACAF Champions League
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The underdogs did not have their days on Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League.

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MLS side Atlanta United and Liga MX mainstays Cruz Azul cruised to second legs win at home to clinch places in the quarterfinals.

Cruz Azul 4-0 (6-1 agg.) Portmore United

Bringing a pair of away goals from Jamaica, the Liga MX hosts just needed to put this one on ice early.

Orbelin Pineda did that in the 22nd minute, and Cruz Azul struck thrice in the second half to win in a landslide.

Atlanta United 3-0 (4-1 agg.) Montagua

It was all about the Martinezes in Georgia, as Pity sandwiched a pair of goals around Josef’s 61st minute tally to send the Five Stripes into the next stage.

All the goals showed calm under pressure, but Pity’s first was gorgeous football. He also assisted Josef’s goal in Honduras during the first leg.

Remaining Round of 16 second legs

NYCFC v. San Carlos (5-3) — 6 p.m. Wednesday
Montreal Impact v. Deportivo Saprissa (2-2) — 8 p.m. Wednesday
Tigres UANL v. Alianza (1-2) — 8 p.m. Wednesday
Club America v. Comunicaciones (1-1) — 10 p.m. Wednesday
Seattle Sounders v. Olimpia (2-2) — 10 p.m. Thursday
LAFC v Leon (0-2) — 10 p.m. Thursday

Coronavirus: Italy may lift ban on sporting events by Monday

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MILAN (AP) The Italian government could lift its ban on sporting events by Monday in areas affected by the coronavirus if the number of cases stabilizes.

The outbreak forced a number of sporting events to be called off throughout the country this past weekend, including four Serie A matches in the north of Italy.

This week, the ban on sporting events was extended from Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont – the areas hardest hit by the outbreak – to also include the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna and Liguria, until March 1.

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“If, as I hope, the statistics don’t give us different signs then maybe already by Monday these measures won’t be continued,” Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said. “But it’s only Tuesday today and we have to wait and see what happens over the next few days. The health of the Italian citizens is the most important thing.”

Italy reported a 45% increase in the number of coronavirus cases Tuesday, from 222 to 300. Ten people have died, all of them elderly or suffering from other ailments.

“Obviously, I can’t say I’m not worried because I don’t want anyone to think we’re underestimating this emergency,” Premier Giuseppe Conte said before meeting with visiting World Health Organization representatives. “But we trust that with the measures we have implemented, there will be a containing effect in the coming days.”

Italy has closed schools, museums and theaters in the two regions where clusters have formed and troops are enforcing quarantines around 10 towns in Lombardy and the epicenter of the Veneto cluster, Vo’Euganeo.

Serie A matches this weekend are set to be played behind closed doors, including Juventus’ key match against Inter Milan. That game is not only potentially crucial to the title race but also sees the return of former Juventus coach Antonio Conte.

Inter’s Europa League match at home to Ludogorets on Thursday will also take place without any fans allowed in.

Serie C canceled all games in two leagues which have teams in the north. Volleyball and rugby games were also suspended nationwide through next weekend.

The Italian Winter Sports Federation suspended all of its events throughout the country for an entire week, although it said that “for now” next weekend’s World Cup ski races in La Thuile in the Valle d’Aosta region were still set to go ahead. Those races are operated by the International Ski Federation, which has already canceled races this season in China that were slated to test the course for the 2022 Beijing Games.

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

El Tri winger Jurgen Damm headed for MLS this summer

Jurgen Damm
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This season’s Liga MX invasion of MLS continues with Jurgen Damm announcing that he’ll leave UANL Tigres this summer after five years with the club.

TUDN has the destination as Atlanta, though previous reports have linked Damm to the LA Galaxy is the spot.

And MLSSoccer.com scribe Tom Bogert says the Houston Dynamo have his “discovery rights” (which remains the worst concept in the entire league).

Reports emerged over the past 48 hours that the El Tri man was headed for an MLS club.

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The 12-times capped winger has one goal for Mexico, but has not been capped since Oct. 2018. He has spent his entire career in Liga MX.

Damm spent the early part of his career with Tecos and Pachuca, but has been with UANL Tigres since 2015.

He won four league titles with UANL, as well as the 2018 Campeones Cup.

Ex-Arsenal man Gnabry: “London’s still red” after Bayern beats Chelsea

Serge Gnabry
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Ex-Arsenal man Serge Gnabry still has love for the club.

Gnabry tweeted that “London is still red” after he scored twice for Bayern Munich in a 3-0 beating of Chelsea on Tuesday in the first leg of a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie.

This after scoring four times against Spurs in a previous Champions League group stage match and Tweeting that “North London is Red.”

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So what’s with the London form?

“I’ve got a lot of friends here,” Gnabry said after the game. “A lot of them were in the stands tonight, and it seems they give me a lot of good power.”

Gnabry only scored once during his time in England with Arsenal and West Brom but is a bona fide star in the Bundesliga.

With a three-goal advantage over Chelsea heading to Munich for a second leg, however, he’s not got his head in the clouds.

“Three goals ahead gives us a little bit of confidence, but we need to be prepared for the second leg. We can’t take it not seriously enough. … We’ve seen it last year with Liverpool beating Barcelona, so we have to be careful. We have to go into the second leg with all of our focus.”

Gnabry now has 51 goals and 29 assists in four seasons since returning to Germany from Arsenal. Not terrible production for a player the Gunners offloaded to Werder Bremen for under $6 million in 2016.

What color will London be when Chelsea buys him next year? We kid, we kid…