Draxler, Pogba, Januzaj headline 10 deals to monitor as we near Transfer Deadline Day

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With the transfer deadline approaching its Tuesday conclusion, deals and rumored deals are hitting the headlines at a head-spinning rate.

[ USMNT: Friendly roster released ]

Of course as we’ve learned with Kevin De Bruyne and Pedro Rodriguez, any deal can be delayed, hit a snag, or find a new destination. Yes, even on Deadline Day.

Ten deals to watch

A big named striker to the Emirates — Arsenal has looked anything but clinical, and fans will feel quite worried after another pass-heavy performance led to… winning by a Newcastle own-goal despite being up a man for 76 minutes at St. James Park. Edinson Cavani? Aleksandr Kokorin? Andriy Yarmolenko?

Paul Pogba to Chelsea — Juventus is 0-2 to start the Serie A season — yes, seriously — and is already dealing with the new identity that comes with life after Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal. Might now be the time to cash in on their big French playing chip? He would instantly boost Chelsea’s befuddling start to the season, and is among the most exciting and influential players in the world.

Anthony Martial to Manchester United — This one looks pretty cut-and-dried, as the 19-year-old Monaco man has left France camp for a quick trip to Manchester and a $56 million move to Old Trafford.

Julian Draxler finally leaves the rumor mill (UPDATE: Done… off to Wolfsburg) — Schalke has been dealing with Draxler rumors for ages, and reports say the club is actually going to sell the player in the next couple days. Will he help replace Kevin De Bruyne at Wolfsburg, aid Juventus in ending its early season funk, or is Arsenal a landing spot? And what would the trickle down do for his new club’s deadline day ideas?

Victor Wanyama to anywhere — Southampton’s 24-year-old Kenyan dynamo has apparently asked to leave St. Mary’s, but manager Ronald Koeman has been adamant that no one will be leaving the club before Sept. 1, and referenced Saints holding onto Morgan Schneiderlin last year at this time:

“Maybe it is good for Victor to talk to Morgan, because I think he is more happy now than he was last year even to do the move he wanted at that moment,” said Koeman.

Which side will blink?

[ MORE: Sunday’s done deals include De Bruyne ]

Adnan Januzaj to Borussia Dortmund (UPDATE: Done deal) — Is it a loan or a permanent move seems more on the mind than will it happen, as Januzaj didn’t play for United on Sunday. It’s a curious move, as the youngster looked lively for the Red Devils this early season, but if Martial’s on the way perhaps it’ll work out?

Kevin Nolan to somewhere — The longtime West Ham, Newcastle and Bolton man, who becomes a leader wherever he goes, has apparently left Upton Park by mutual consent. Dick Advocaat lies in wait, but would the 33-year-old really be primed to take the Northeast abuse that comes from joining his former rivals? Or will rumored moves to Burnley and Cardiff City give the promotion player his next lease on life?

Charlie Austin back to the Premier League — QPR’s big goal man is now being linked to — wait for it — Manchester United after a summer of Newcastle, Everton and Spurs talk. One thing’s for sure, we’d love to see the Englishman back on our televisions this Fall. Bonus name: Will valuable midfielder Matty Phillips remain at Loftus Road come the deadline?

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez to Bayer Leverkusen [ UPDATE: Confirmed ] —  And it would be two Old Trafford attackers to the Bundesliga if El Tri’s ‘Little Pea’ moves to Bayer. $18 million is quite a risk for the German powers (although what’s $18 million in the transfer market these days? Could he reclaim his form with Stefan Kiessling and company?

Gyasi Zardes to Europe — He’s in USMNT camp right now and he will get a big raise soon (one that won’t probably come from an L.A. squad with Steven Gerrard, Gio Dos Santos, and Robbie Keane on the books). Genk and Reading have been linked. Will Zardes leave the Galaxy (the team, not the Milky Way. Haven’t read of any interest from FC Andromeda 964).

Transfer news: Kane to Real Madrid, Alexis Sanchez to West Ham

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The latest transfer news continues across the Premier League and here’s a look at some of the juiciest rumors.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

According to Sport, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has his sights set on signing Tottenham striker Harry Kane this summer.

With Luka Jovic failing to impress at the Santiago Bernabeu, Los Blancos are set to make some moves to consolidate the presence up top. Kane, 26, and Wolves striker Raul Jimenez are some of the few names to have been mentioned thus far.

Kane, who has a running contract with Spurs until 2024, recently mentioned that he wouldn’t rule out a move out of north London, if Tottenham were unable to capitalize on winning silverware.

“I’m an ambitious player, I want to improve, I want to get better, I want to become one of the top, top players,” Kane said earlier this month. “It all depends on what happens as a team and how we progress as a team. So it’s not a definite I’m going to stay there forever – but it’s not a no either.”

As far as transfers go, nothing gets bigger and more “ambitious” than a summer blockbuster move to Real Madrid. Kane has a promising project spearheaded by Jose Mourinho himself at his boyhood club, but the opportunity to represent Real Madrid – at such a prime age, with an astronomical amount of hype – may only come around once.

Alexis Sanchez’s time at Inter Milan is coming to a close, and his next destination may be a Premier League team not named Manchester United, according to FC Inter News.

The 31-year-old Chilean’s agent, Fernando Felicevich, has reportedly been inquired by West Ham, who are considering placing a bid to lure the winger out of Old Trafford.

Sanchez arrived at Inter last summer on loan but has failed to impress when healthy, recording a mere goal and three assist in 15 appearances this season. With the possibilities of Sanchez remaining at Manchester United past the summer getting slimmer by the day, the Hammers are hoping to land the South American at a reduced price.

Sanchez, one of United’s highest earners, is reportedly also gathering interest from other unnamed Premier League and Bundesliga sides.

Belarusian Premier League roundup: FC Energetik-BGU edge FC Minsk, moves to top of league

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The Belarusian Premier League – the only active European top-flight league at the moment – continued on Sunday despite the coronavirus pandemic.

FC Energetik-BGU 2-0 FC Minsk 

FC Energetik-BGU are the new leaders of the Belarusian Premier League, following a 2-0 victory over FC Minsk, who were atop of the table prior to Sunday’s bout.

Aleksey Nosko broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, while winger Jasurbek Yakhshiboev sealed the victory for the hosts in stoppage time.

With the victory, Energetik-BGU are the only unbeaten team in the league after three matchweeks, winning all three matches. The positive spell began with a 3-1 against Belarus giants BATE Boristov. Since, Energetik-BGU have scored three goals, while managing to concede none.

Slutsk, who also featured on Sunday, moved up to second on the table following a hard-earned 3-2 victory over Isloch, which saw them play the final minutes of the match with 10 players.

Elsewhere in Belarusian Premier League 

Smolevichi-STI 0-0 Vitebsk

Isloch 2-3 Slutsk

Spanish players criticize league’s call for furloughs

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MADRID (AP) Soccer players in Spain on Sunday criticized the Spanish league’s decision to ask clubs to put the footballers on government furloughs during the coronavirus crisis.

The league on Friday said the furloughs were needed because there was no agreement on the size of the salary cuts players must take to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic.

“It is strange that the Liga supports (the furloughs),” Spain’s players’ association said in a statement.

It said the league should have created a financial cushion for this period considering it always boasted about its “economic control measures” and the “well-balanced economy” of the Spanish clubs. The association said it also should be taken into account that the league has been temporarily suspended and not yet canceled.

The league and the players’ association have been in talks to try to find ways to mitigate losses that could reach nearly 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) if the season cannot be restarted because of the pandemic.

The players said they agree with a salary reduction to help the clubs during the crisis, but not to the extent the league wants, which could amount to nearly half of the total losses if the competition is not resumed.

Players said they want to keep negotiating directly with the clubs instead of being forced into furloughs.

“The clubs and the players have been reaching agreements regarding the salaries,” the players’ association said. “What footballers are not going to do is relinquish labor rights.”

Barcelona and Atlético Madrid are among the Spanish clubs requesting furloughs, but both directly negotiated the amount of the salary reduction with players — 70% in both cases. Both clubs and their players are contributing to guarantee the wages of non-playing employees being furloughed.

The government furloughs help reduce the clubs’ labor costs while also guaranteeing players their jobs once the crisis is over.

Spain has more than 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with nearly 12,500 deaths. The nation is expected to remain in a lockdown until April 26.

There is no timetable for the return of the Spanish league.

Players maintained their position to only resume competing when health authorities deem it safe for everyone’s heath, a view also shared by the Spanish league.

The league has suggested it will recommend teams start mini-camp while the lockdown is still in place, if it’s possible to do so within the restrictions imposed by authorities.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Brighton, Cincinnati prepare to discuss Locadia’s future

Jurgen Locadia
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Jurgen Locadia’s big MLS transfer has not gone as planned, through no fault of his, FC Cincinnati’s, or parent club Brighton and Hove Albion.

Locadia’s loan to Cincinnati was sealed Feb. 3, giving him just under five months to decide whether he had interesting in staying in the U.S. for the next part of his career.

The 26-year-old got all of two matches to feel it out, scoring once before MLS shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The extremely small sample size has been kind to Locadia, who says that his agent had spoken to Brighton and that he’s open to making the move permanent. That’s a loaded statement given the money it might take to acquire a player who was Brighton’s transfer record signing just over a year ago.

“I like it here so far in Cincinnati and the league also,” Locadia told The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com: “I talk with my agent also and he said at the end of the day it’s my decision, and I told him I’m happy here, so if we can figure something out with Brighton and Cincinnati, which I understand is going to be difficult, we can try and fix the situation.”

FCC general manager Gerard Nijkamp said he’ll be talking with Brighton in the next few days, but that the situation is a massive challenge. Imagine the questions: What does Brighton want? When can the player move? Has the end of the loan window changed at all? And what reinforcements will Brighton be able to buy given the wildly unusual conclusion to this season (and their possible relegation)?

Locadia was also asked what he likes about MLS.

“I think here in the States, the fans enjoy the game more and in Europe I get the feeling that people are more judge-y about the game,” Locadia said. “Here in the States, they come to enjoy the game and see the players and drink beer. And in Europe it’s more like, we need to win and they’re gonna judge you. They don’t like when you play the ball back to the goalkeeper.”

Well, maybe wait on that one. There might be a bit more patience in Cincinnati given it’s their second year in MLS, but other clubs have plenty of fans amped up for victory.