Liverpool complete $20 million signing of Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton

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Liverpool have completed their sixth signing of a busy summer, as Nathaniel Clyne has joined the Reds from Southampton.

Clyne, 24, was entering the final year of his deal with Saints and the England international had refused a new contract offer at the south coast club. His signing means he will slot in as the first-choice right back at Anfield after Glen Johnson left on a free transfer this summer.

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Brendan Rodgers has once again visited St. Mary’s for a new player, as Clyne joins fellow Saints teammates Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert at Liverpool after they all made the switch from the south coast to Merseyside last summer.

Clyne was linked with a move to Manchester United, but he now joins Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, James Milner, Joe Gomez and Adam Bogdan as Liverpool’s squad continues to take shape ahead of the 2015-16 season.

Speaking to Liverpool’s website, Clyne had the following to say about his move to Anfield:

“I’m delighted and it’s a dream move for me to come here and play for such a big club with all of its history. I can’t wait to get started.

“As soon as Liverpool showed their interest in me, I was happy and just wanted the deal to go through.

“The gaffer has shown a lot of interest in me and this is a place where I can improve as a player, I think. It’s definitely a good opportunity to come here and try to fulfil my potential.

“I’ve played at Anfield before and know what the atmosphere is all about. It’s a great atmosphere and will make me rise to the challenge. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully it can push me on to putting on good performances.”

Clyne has made 94 appearances for Southampton in the Premier League after joining them from Crystal Palace for a fee set by tribunal at around $3 million. The attack-minded right back scored three times during the 2014-15 season, two of which were scorchers away at Liverpool and Arsenal, but Saints knew a transfer was on the horizon and have already signed Portuguese international right back Cedric Soares as Clyne’s replacement. He also made his breakthrough into the national team and has represented England five times.

With the player and his agent pushing for a move to a more established PL club, it seems like everyone has got what they wanted. Saints have received a sizable profit, considering Clyne could have started talking to new clubs in January 2016 about a free transfer, and Clyne has got a move to one of the giants of English soccer. Plus, Liverpool have themselves a fine right back who has proven himself to be one of the best in the PL over the past three seasons.

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Brighton, Sheffield Utd v. Newcastle

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Matchweek 15 of the 2019-20 Premier League season wraps up on Thursday, with two more midweek clashes featuring two mid-table sides, and two more from much nearer to the relegation zone, in action.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

First up, PL new boys (and 9th-place side) Sheffield United will host 14th-place Newcastle United, who sit just two points outside the relegation zone ahead of kickoff. 45 minutes later, 10th-place Arsenal will host 16th-place Brighton & Hove Albion in Freddie Ljungberg’s first home game as Arsenal interim manager.

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The schedule for Thursday’s two games is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


2:30 p.m. ET: Sheffield United v. Newcastle United [STREAM]
3:15 p.m. ET: Arsenal v. Brighton & Hove Albion [STREAM]

Atleti escapes major punishment for fans’ Griezmann threats

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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid escaped major punishment Wednesday after its fans made threatening chants against former player Antoine Griezmann during last weekend’s La Liga match against Barcelona.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

The Spanish league had denounced the club after some fans chanted “Die Griezmann” in Sunday’s match, won by Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.

The Spanish soccer federation said it would fine Atletico $333 because the game was disrupted, but it did not cite the chants against Griezmann. The fine was prompted mainly because fans threw objects — including an umbrella — onto the field.

The Spanish league had denounced the club to the federation’s anti-violence committee, saying about 2,000 fans from Atletico’s “ultras” section made the chants for about 20 seconds before the start of the second half, and again later in the game.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

Griezmann left Atletico for Barcelona at the end of last season in a transfer worth more than $132 million.

The France forward was jeered nearly every time he touched the ball at the Metropolitano on Sunday. It was his first match at Atletico’s stadium since leaving the club.

Klopp to take first team to Club World Cup, leave youth for EFL Cup

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Jurgen Klopp has chosen his strongest possible Liverpool squad to take to the Club World Cup later this month, leaving a reserve- and youth-laden team behind to compete in the EFL Cup during the same period.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Liverpool will head to Doha, Qatar, for the Club World Cup, where they’ll play their semifinal fixture against one of Monterrey (Mexico), Al-Saad (Qatar) or Hienghene Sport (New Caledonia) on Dec. 18. The day prior, on Dec. 17, the Reds will also play away to Aston Villa in the quarterfinals of the League Cup. With the club’s star-studded first team in Qatar, progression to the semifinals of the League Cup will be down to a team full of teenage prospects.

Only defender Joel Matip and midfielder Fabinho, both of whom are currently injured and unavailable, were left out of the Club World Cup squad.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

Players suffering from illness or injury prior to Liverpool’s first Club World Cup game can be replaced in the squad up to 24 hours before kickoff.

Liverpool’s Club World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Adrian, Andy Lonergan

Defenders: Virgil Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold

Midfielders: Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Neco Williams

Forwards: Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri, Rhian Brewster, Divock Origi

Hazard has muscle tear, could miss El Clasico

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MADRID (AP) Real Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard has a more serious right-leg injury than the bruise that was first diagnosed, and it could rule him out of El Clasico against Barcelona on Dec. 18.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Madrid said Thursday that new tests found a micro-tear of a muscle that had gone undetected since the injury occurred on Nov. 26 in a 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain.

Hazard joined Madrid from Chelsea this year on a club-record transfer of $113 million, plus add-ons. He missed the first three games of the season after injuring a thigh muscle in the preseason.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

Madrid said it will also likely be without left back Marcelo for Saturday’s home game against Espanyol because of a muscle injury.

Madrid is in second place in the Spanish league behind Barcelona on goal difference.