Southampton closing in on $8 million Spanish international Juanmi

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Young Spanish forward Juan Miguel Jimenez Lopez — Juanmi to you and I — is close to joining Southampton according to numerous reports.

Juanmi, 22, has a release clause of $8 million and it is believed he was in Southampton on Monday with his agent to try and tie up the deal.

[ RELATED: Latest transfer gossip ]

Saints boss Ronald Koeman will have some competition to seal the deal for the Spanish international though, as Liverpool, West Ham United, Newcastle, Real Sociedad and Aston Villa are apparently interested in snapping up the versatile attacker. Juanmi made his debut for the Spanish national team in March against the Netherlands and can play either as a central striker or out wide in a front three.

After bursting onto the scene for hometown club Malaga as a 16-year-old and becoming the club’s youngest ever goalscorer, Juanmi’s career stalled and he was sent out on loan to Racing Santander in 2013. However last season he found a new lease of life at Malaga and scored eight times in 28 La Liga appearances as the Andalusian club finished in ninth place in Spain’s top-flight.

Southampton seem to specialize on taking calculate gambles on players who are young, have yet to fully develop but have the potential to become stars. Just look at the signings of Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Ryan Bertrand last season and how well they worked out for Koeman as his team recorded their highest-ever finish of seventh in the Premier League and qualified for the Europa League for the 2015-16 season. The secret “black box room” at Saints’ training ground is said to have tons of data on potential signings from league’s across the world as they cast the net far and wide to give youngsters a chance to shine in England’s top-flight.

Juanmi’s potential addition would help ease the pressure on Graziano Pelle as the Italian international scored 16 times in his debut season in the PL but will turn 30 in July and certainly won’t be expected to start every PL game plus play a a pivotal role in Saints’ Europa League campaign if they make a deep run. With Jay Rodriguez returning to full fitness for next season after rupturing his ACL and missing the last 12 months, plus Shane Long and Mane around, snapping up Juanmi could see Saints well-stocked in the forward department a little less than two months before the season begins.

As most PL managers say, it’s always good to get your summer business done early.

Predicting the rest of the Women’s World Cup

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The Women’s World Cup is into the final eight, with seven of the eight teams hailing from Europe.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup Power Rankings ]

The lone outlier is some team from North America who may or may not have won the last World Cup and can become the first team to win four of the things.

Who thinks they will? Our staff weighs in on the matter below.


Joe Prince-Wright

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
England v. France
Netherlands v. Germany 

Final
France defeats Germany
Wendie Renard of France celebrates with teammates (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Nicholas Mendola

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
USA defeats England
Germany defeats Italy 

Final
USA defeats Germany

Andy Edwards

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
Germany defeats France

Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Dan Karell
Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden
Semifinals
USA defeats England
Netherlands defeats GermanyFinal
USA defeats Netherlands

Kyle Bonn

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
France defeats Germany

WATCH: Stoppage time missile earns Curacao draw with Jamaica

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This Gold Cup isn’t short on drama.

A day after Haiti stunned Costa Rica to win Group B, it was Curacao’s turn to up the ante.

Needing a point to stay alive for a knockout round berth, Jurien Gaari ripped a stoppage time rocket into the back of the goal to defy Andre Blake and Jamaica a win and the Group C crown (at least for a couple of hours).

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

Shamar Nicholson had given the Reggae Boyz a 14th minute lead, but Jamaica couldn’t find a second goal.

If Honduras beats El Salvador in the business end of the doubleheader in Los Angeles, Curacao will finish second in the group and advance to face either the USMNT or Panama.

If El Salvador manages a draw or win, well, at least Curacao will have this wonder from RKC Waalwijk’s right back:

AFCON wrap: Pote’s beauty helps Benin draw Ghana; Cameroon wins

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All 24 teams at the Africa Cup of Nations have a match in the books as of Tuesday, and we’ve got another tournament surprise.

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

Having already seen Uganda upset the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar draw Guinea, this one came when Ghana met Benin.

It was aided by a red card to Ghana, but the 88th ranked Les Écureuils (Squirrels) of Benin managed a result.


Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau

Scoreless at halftime, Cameroon saw Yaya Banana and Stephane Bahoken score three minutes apart to give the Indomitable Lions the Group F lead on Day One of group play.

Ghana 2-2 Benin

Mickael Pote scored first and last, giving Benin a valuable point against 10-man Ghana.

The Black Stars went behind in the second minute on Pote’s first, only to get Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew goals on either side of halftime to build a lead of their own.

But John Boye took a 54th minute red card and Pote potted his second nine minutes later to give Benin an early Group F bonus.

How about this sweep behind the leg?

David Silva will make 10th season his last as Man City

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David Silva says his 10th season at Manchester City will be his last with the Etihad Stadium set.

“It completes the cycle,” he said in a press conference this week. “It’s a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years – that’s it.”

Silva turns 34 in January, and posted 10 goals and 14 assists in 50 appearances for Pep Guardiola‘s men last season.

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

All told, he enters this one-year contract with 396 appearances for City, scoring 71 goals with 129 assists. He’s won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup twice, and the League Cup four times.

He was last capped by Spain at the 2018 World Cup, where he’s scored 37 times in 129 caps. He’s also played with Valencia and Celta Vigo in his native country.

The news comes less than a week after a fellow Spanish legend, Fernando Torres, announced his retirement.

But Silva seems like he’s got a bit more in the tank. Could he be one of the big names matched with Inter Miami for 2020? Or might he follow Xavi’s route to the Middle East?