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Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup: Hiddink wants Vardy; James to Man Utd?

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With a pair of Premier League managerial positions recently changing hands — and another possibly imminent — the world of transfer rumors has officially gone mad.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Major star players, among others, reportedly on the move or being targeted for moves in January, as of Saturday: Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez; Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy; Bayer Leverkusen’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez; and Chelsea’s Radamel Falcao.

The Sun pegs interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink as hot for Vardy, Leciester’s scorer of 15 league goals this season. The question isn’t “why would they want Vardy” — it’s pretty plain to see — but more of “why don’t they want Riyad Mahrez, too/instead?” Hiddink has also reportedly placed West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino atop his wish list, as the Blues search for a replacement and/or cover for the still-misfiring Diego Costa.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Sunday’s PL preview ]

Elsewhere on the Chelsea striker’s front, Falcao could be off to MLS in January. Swansea City have reportedly made a loan offer for Loic Remy, according to the Mirror. A $1.5-million loan fee has reportedly been offered, as well as a willingness to pay Remy’s wages for the remainder of the season. Crystal Palace and Newcastle United are said to also be interested.

James Rodriguez, who a small sector of the world’s population believes — for some unknown reason — to be on his way out of Madrid, is the apple of Louis Van Gaal‘s eye, according to the Metro. Rodriguez is reportedly unhappy playing for Rafael Benitez at Madrid, though that could be just as much a contract negotiating ploy as actually wanting a move away. Regardless, Man United continue to be linked with mega-stars they will most likely fail to ultimately sign.

[ MORE: Friday’s transfer rumor roundup | Thursday | Wednesday ]

According to Talksport, another former Man United striker, Hernandez, could be on his way to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger is said to be weighing up an offer for the 27-year-old Mexican striker, who is in red-hot form at the moment. The report reckons Hernandez could be had for as little as $10 million, but that sounds awfully low for a striker who’s scored 17 goals in his last 14 games.

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.