Multiple reports out of England claim that Southampton right back Nathaniel Clyne is at the top of plenty of wish-lists this summer.
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Clyne, 23, has starred for Saints since arriving from Crystal Palace in 2012 and is just about to complete his third-straight season in the Premier League. Clyne has been lauded by his own manager Ronald Koeman as the “best full back” in the Premier League, and this season has arguably been his best.
The former Palace right back has been called up to the English national team and has won two caps for the Three Lions. However his current deal at Saints runs out in the summer of 2016 and the Londonder is set to assess his options after this season and is no rush to sign a new deal with Southampton.
Fresh reports from the Daily Mirror suggest that Chelsea have now joined the race for Clyne, as Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked with a move for the pacey right back for quite some time.
According to the Mirror, Clyne is valued at around $23 million by Southampton but many Saints fans would argue that if they got $30 million from Liverpool for Dejan Lovren last summer, Clyne is worth way more than that.
With Koeman previously urging Clyne, and a number of other Saints players edging towards the end of their deals, to sit down and has out new contracts at St. Mary’s, it seems as though his current club are eager to get him locked down for the foreseeable future. Yet with United, Chelsea and others able to offer Clyne a vast increase on any offer Saints can make him, will he follow the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers out of the door this summer?
United are certainly in the hunt for a new right back as Brazilian Rafael doesn’t seem to fit into van Gaal’s plans and young center back Paddy McNair has been shunted out to the right on several occasions this season. As for Chelsea, they seem to have sufficient cover in the right back slot as things stand with Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic already at the club.
Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.
Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.
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Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.
“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”
Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.
“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”
That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.
Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.
L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.
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Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.
The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.
That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.
Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.
Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.
An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.
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Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.
Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.
“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”
A sensational report is linking Wilfried Zaha not just with a move away from Crystal Palace, but a move clear of the Premier League altogether.
90min.com says that Bayern Munich has turned to Zaha, having been rebuffed in their pursuit of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.
Palace wants $100 million for Zaha, but so far has only received a $50 million offer from Arsenal for his services. Reports Monday said Arsenal is upping its bid, and offering a loan of Reiss Nelson as a make-good. Palace has had good Fortune with loans from the big boys of the PL, in particular with Ruben Loftus-Cheek two seasons ago.
A lot of this makes sense for all parties, apart from Sane, and it will be interesting to see if the report brings a bigger bid from the Gunners.
Zaha is a sensational player, and has created chances year-after-year for the Eagles. He wants to taste the Champions League, but Palace is not willing to let him go for (much) less than its asking price given its sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.
Bayern will spend less on Zaha than it would on Gareth Bale or Sane, and get a determined player who is very much in his prime. Zaha would also get the chance to showcase himself with actual breathing room on the pitch, thanks to Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, and others.
And Palace, of course, will end up with between $80-100 million and the knowledge that it won’t need to mark Zaha on a Premier League pitch. More importantly, the money raised from Zaha and Wan-Bissaka will allow them to strengthen at nearly every position (above what they have now, not above AWB and Zaha).