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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Defour to break Burnley record, Mustafi to Arsenal back on

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With Middlesbrough making big-name moves and even Championship clubs spending like crazy, Burnley is just looking to keep up.

The agent of Anderlecht midfielder Steven Defour says that the two clubs have agreed to bring the 28-year-old Belgian to the Premier League in a $9 million deal that would make Defour the Clarets’ record signing.

Defour has come close to joining the Premier League on multiple occasions in the past. Everton had a bid rejected by Standard Liege in 2011, Manchester United was reportedly interested around that time as well, and Fulham came close to a deal in 2014 but talks broke down with Porto and Defour moved to Anderlecht.

Burnley still has not yet confirmed the deal, but Anderlecht has, wishing him “good luck” on Twitter.


Arsenal has been linked to Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi for much of the summer, but things have been quiet at the Emirates and Gunners fans are starving for an addition to counter some early-season injuries. Now, according to Spanish media reports, things might be hitting high gear.

Plaza Deportiva reports that Valencia owner Peter Lim flew to London to complete the transfer. The report also states Mustafi has already agreed to a deal with Arsenal, and the fee is all that is required to green light a medical.

The deal will reportedly cost Arsenal $39 million, despite Mustafi’s release clause of $54 million. Fueling the fire, Mustafi was left out of Wednesday’s friendly with a Nigerian all-star team.


Stoke City defender Marc Wilson has suddenly fallen out of favor with manager Mark Hughes and looks ready to find himself a new club. The 28-year-old has been with the Potters since 2010, but a week ago went on an eye-raising Twitter tirade targeting Hughes’ training, tactics, and team selection.

During a Q&A with fans, Wilson tweeted things like, “it would actually help if we ever did any defensive training which we dont,” I think I deserve game time, only way to get fit but hey that’s down to the manager. Finished last season horrifically,” and “think we have gotten away from being a tight compact unit when we lose the ball.”

On Friday, when asked about the incident during the pre-match press conference leading up to Saturday’s Premier League opener at Middlesbrough, Hughes confirmed Wilson is likely to depart. “It’s fair to say that Marc feels his future lies elsewhere and it’s fair to say I probably agree with him,” said Hughes. “Sometimes players can be frustrated with a perceived lack of opportunity and that’s the case with Marc. He maybe expressed himself in the wrong way.”


Everton has seen a $11 million bid rejected for Lyon forward Rachid Ghezzal, according to a report by Goal.

The Toffees are leaving their business late, having just secured the purchase of Swansea defender Ashley Williams. Now, they’ve reportedly targeted the unsettled Algerian, who rejected a new contract with the Ligue 1 side, and Friday was sent to train with the reserves until his future is sorted, according to Lyon manager Bruno Genesio. West Ham have also reportedly submitted bids that were rejected, and Arsenal is apparently interested, but not willing to submit an offer until January.

Ghezzal is a Lyon academy product and scored eight goals and eight assists last year in 28 Ligue 1 appearances. The 24-year-old has just one year remaining on his current contract at Lyon.

Bilbao’s Williams: ‘I suffered racist insults’ at Espanyol

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams says that he was a victim of racial abuse from fans while playing at Espanyol in a Spanish league game on Saturday.

Williams said after the 1-1 draw that “I suffered racist insults, something that no one wants to hear and has no place here.”

Williams, who is black, played 82 minutes of the match before being substituted.

“People should come to enjoy themselves, to help their team. This is a sport about friendship,” Williams said.

More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

FA Cup: Chelsea survive trip to Hull, advance to 5th round (video)

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With their 2-1 victory away to EFL Championship side Hull City, Chelsea joined Leicester City, Sheffield United and Norwich City as Premier League sides to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

[ FA CUP ROUNDUP: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance ]

Frank Lampard‘s side got off to a flying start courtesy of Michy Batshuayi‘s deflected finish in the 6th minute, and the Blues were well on their way to a first half of total dominance.

Hull looked more prepared for a fight after halftime, but it mattered very little after Fikayo Tomori was gifted a free header two yards off the goal line. Ross Barkley‘s free kick was well placed at the back post and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop it.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Hull pulled the game back to 2-1 in the 78th minute, and they were more than a little fortunate in how they managed to do so. Kamil Grosicki smacked a free kick with plenty of power and got the deflection of all deflections to wrong-foot Willy Caballero and find the back of the net.

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

FA Cup roundup: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance (video)

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round (early) action…

[ MORE: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

West Ham United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

West Ham were the lone Premier League side to be knocked out by a lower-division side on Saturday, as David Moyes‘ side failed to find the back of the net and were beaten 1-0 by EFL Championship leaders West Brom.

Conor Townsend scored the game’s only goal in the 9th minute, and though the Hammers controlled possession the rest of the way, they created very little in terms of scoring chances and finished the game with just three shots on target. West Brom finished the game with 10 men, but West Ham could do nothing with their 18-minute advantage following Semi Ajayi‘s second yellow card in the 72nd minute.

Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United

Sheffield United’s dream season continued with a comfortable 2-0 victory away to Championship side Millwall. Both goals came inside the final half-hour, but the Blades were unquestionably the better side even before breaking the deadlock.

That came in the 62nd minute, when Muhamed Besic placed a stunning curler inside the far post for 1-0. Not long before full-time, in the 84th, Oliver Norwood drove his effort hard and low and into the corner to make it 2-0.

Burnley 1-2 Norwich City

Norwich and Burnley were largely inseparable for the majority of Saturday’s clash at Turf Moor, save for a four-minute period early in the second half in which Norwich scored twice and booked their place in the fifth round.

Grant Hanley made it 1-0 in the 53rd and Josip Drmic added to the advantage in the 57th minute. Erik Pieters pulled Burnley back to within a goal in the 73rd, but that’s as close as the Clarets would get.

FA Cup fourth-round scoreboard

Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur — FULL RECAP
Newcastle United 0-0 Oxford United
Portsmouth 4-2 Barnsley
Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City
Reading 1-1 Cardiff City

RB Leipzig beaten, Bundesliga title race thrown wide open

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BERLIN (AP) Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Bundesliga leader RB Leipzig 2-0 to throw the title race wide open on Saturday.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Frankfurt defender Almamy Toure scored a brilliant goal just after the break and Filip Kostic sealed the win in injury time to deal Leipzig its first defeat since a 2-1 loss at home to Freiburg in October.

Borussia Monchengladbach cut the gap at the top to two points with a 3-1 win at home over Mainz, thanks largely to goals in each half from French striker Alassane Plea.

Bayern Munich has the chance to cut the gap to one point with a win at home over Schalke in the late game.

[ FA CUP: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

Borussia Dortmund is just four points off the top after its 5-1 win over Cologne on Friday.

Also Saturday, Union Berlin defeated Augsburg 2-0 at home, Hertha Berlin came from behind to win 2-1 at Wolfsburg, and Paderborn moved off the bottom with a 2-0 win at Freiburg.