Getty Images

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bony to West Ham, Hart could stay at City

1 Comment

All signs have pointed towards Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart – cast aside by new manager Pep Guardiola in dramatic fashion – departing the Etihad before the transfer window shut.

With Hart benched and a replacement deal all but complete, it makes too much sense. However, a report suggests that may not be the case.

According to BBC’s David Ornstein, things have happened so suddenly that Hart feels he might not have enough time to ponder the best move for himself and his family, and thus could likely stay at City to fight for his place.

The options are limited in the first place. Everton seems to be the only Premier League destination with any legs, but even they have just purchased Maarten Stekelenburg this summer, and while Hart would represent an upgrade, it’s still an unsettling position purchasing a player to replace one you’ve just purchased. Sevilla is also reportedly interested, but the Spanish club is seemingly second-guessing itself and the interest seems on and off at best.

Despite all this, reports over the past few days suggest that Hart’s mentality is to avoid a short-term out, which is what Sevilla would likely represent with interest in a loan only. It feels more likely that the 29-year-old will stay at City – at least until the winter – than make a kneejerk move to a new club in the next two weeks.


Much of this Hart business seems contingent on Manchester City signing Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, which likely won’t happen before the Catalans secure a replacement. It seems the club is adamant on having two goalkeepers, which they have done for the past two seasons, sharing the time between Bravo and young Marc-Andre ter Stegen. With ter Stegen staying put, they would like to bring in someone at least as competition, if not to continue sharing time.

A pair of players have seen their names crop up among rumors the most. First is 23-year-old PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who has just broken into the PSG first team this season for the first time. With Kevin Trapp remaining the starter and cast-away Salvatore Sirigu still not moved, it’s possible a move to Barcelona could be mouth-watering for Areola.

The other, seemingly more likely option is Ajax starter and Dutch international Jasper Cillessen. The 27-year-old has a wealth of experience, having started regularly for the Dutch giants the past three club seasons, and finding himself as the first-choice national team starter since late 2013 as well.


A Manchester City fringe player who seems more likely to leave is Wilfried Bony, who suddenly has a suitor thanks to a nasty injury elsewhere.

With new signing Andre Ayew out for months after tearing his quad, West Ham are yet again left without a star striker to feature alongside Andy Carroll. With little time to find a replacement, Bony seems like a solid fit on a short-term loan, considering the Ivorian is on the outside looking in at the Etihad.

Kelechi Iheanacho‘s new five-year contract suggests that Bony is stuck behind both the youngster and superstar Sergio Aguero, and his best bet for immediate playing time would be a move to the Olympic Stadium. It’s unlikely that West Ham would have the money set aside to complete a permanent move for Bony for anything less than a massively cut-priced deal given the sudden nature of their need, so a loan is likely preferable for the Hammers.


Everton is doing most of its business late in the window, and they may have swooped in on another club’s target.

According to reports in France, the Toffees have submitted a bid for Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal and may have seen it accepted. West Ham have been tracking the player for weeks, even reportedly submitting a pair of rejected bids, and now Everton may have taken advantage of the Hammers’ slow build.

Ghezzal, 24, has reportedly rejected a new contract at Lyon and therefore has been shopped around this summer. The winger has been left out of the Lyon squad to start the season, but that is due to an adductor tear that will keep him out a further 2-3 weeks.

The Everton bid for Ghezzal is reportedly $12.5 million, with West Ham’s rejected bids in the range of $8 million and $10 million. Their interest in the Algerian is surprising given their recent deal with Yannick Bolasie, although Bolasie is more proficient on the left side of the pitch, whereas Ghezzal is primarily a right winger.

WATCH: Hartford Athletic scores wild 90th-minute winner

Hartford Athletic goal
Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s very rare in this age full of soccer on our screens that we catch a goal of unique ingenuity.

The USL Championship delivered the goods on Wednesday.

Hartford Athletic had blown a two-goal lead to Philadelphia Union II on Wednesday and was staring down a 2-2 draw when Danny Barrera swung into action.

[ REPORT: Spurs land Mourinho’s “top target” ]

Well, perhaps he lunged into action. Or flailed. On third thought, swung is good.

Heck, you pick the verb.

Barrera, 30, turned Philadelphia goalkeeper Mitchell Budler into a gift horse, reacting quickly to flick his back boot into the path of the keeper’s attempted outlet throw in the 90th minute.

The 81st-minute sub became the match-winning goalscorer off the play, which gives him two goals and seven assists on the season.

Hartford has 32 points and is a point off table-leading Tampa Bay Rowdies with one match to play. Second-place Louisville City is also on 32 points and Pittsburgh Riverhounds have 31.

Hartford may be able to look back at Barrera’s goal as the surprise three points that swung a title race in its favor.

Leeds – Manchester City: How to watch, start time, prediction, odds

Leeds - Manchester City
Credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Leeds – Manchester City: It’s been so far, so good for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds in their return to the Premier League, but a visit from Man City to Elland Road is a stiffer test (Watch live at 12:30 pm ET Saturday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Leeds fell 4-3 to Liverpool on Opening Day but has since beaten Fulham and Sheffield United to sit top half of the table in this very young Premier League season.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Man City fell 5-2 to Leicester City at home last weekend after beating Wolves to start their PL season. A midweek clean sheet of Burnley shows that Pep Guardiola’s men aren’t dead, and the Catalan mastermind will relish the chance to match wits with a man he hails as a role model in Bielsa.

Guardiola once called Bielsa the best manager in the world.

“Winning titles helps to have a job next season but at the end of your life, what you remember is not the titles you have won, what you remember is the memories you have and whether the manager taught you a lot,” Guardiola once said when asked about Bielsa. “What we remember are the experiences and the memories, the players you have had, the managers you have had. Marcelo is at the top of the list. Absolutely at the top of the list.”


Team news for Leeds – Manchester City (INJURY REPORT)

Leeds will not have emerging star winger Jack Harrison, who is in his second season on loan to the club from Man City and ineligible to play against his parent club. Gaetano Berardi (knee), Adam Forshaw (groin), Pablo Hernandez (groin) are on the injured list.

Things are getting better for Manchester City, who got Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva back in a midweek League Cup win over Burnley. Still out are Gabriel Jesus (undisclosed), Sergio Aguero (knee), Joao Cancelo (foot), Ilkay Gundogan (COVID-19), and Oleksandr Zinchenko (undisclosed).


What they’re saying

Leeds’ young goalkeeper Illan Meslier on keeping a clean sheet: “I’m happy because in the last game against Fulham I felt I could have saved the last two goals, but against Sheffield I saved two important chances and we arrived at half time at 0-0 which was important. It is just one game though, and we are focused on the next game now and then the one after that. For the spectators I think 4-3 games are better, but for the team and me it is better one-nil. We managed to do that on Sunday and win the game so it is all good.”

Man City boss Guardiola on new signing Ruben Dias: “We know Ruben Dias’s personality and I am sure he will be an incredible player for the next six or seven years. We’re very happy to have him. Our back four are now a young team. We start training tomorrow and get going as quick as possible.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

This line has probably become a lot tighter than it would’ve been in August since Leeds has burst onto the scene while Man City has been up-and-down (relatively speaking). Leeds is +675 to win at home and +440 to draw, while City is -290 to collect all three points.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Leeds – Manchester City prediction

Leeds is a talented side and only getting better and deeper in terms of talent and experience. And Bielsa can plan for any opposition. But injured or not, City still has Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Raheem Sterling, and more. Man City 3-1.


How to watch Leeds – Manchester City stream and start time

Kickoff: 12:30 pm ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Manchester United – Tottenham: How to watch, start time, prediction, odds

Leave a comment

Manchester United – Tottenham: Jose Mourinho’s latest Premier League project waltzes into his previous stop when Tottenham Hotspur visits Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Both clubs boast midweek wins in the League Cup, though Tottenham’s Thursday visit from Europa League foes Maccabi Haifa have complicated Mourinho’s planning for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Tottenham may have a new striker in the fold, with reports claiming the North Londoners have loaned Mourinho’s No. 1 target, Carlos Vinicius, from Benfica.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer has grown frustrated of answering questions on United’s transfer activity with days to go in the window.


Team news for Manchester United – Tottenham (INJURY REPORT)

Same old, same old for United, which is still dealing with long-term injuries to Axel Tuanzebe (ankle) and Phil Jones (knee).

Tottenham is still waiting for Gareth Bale to regain full fitness after a knee injury, while Heung-min Son is unlikely to play Sunday but manager Jose Mourinho was unwilling to completely rule the South Korean out.


What they’re saying

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Man Utd’s transfer activity“I can’t give you any news. We are working with what we have got. We have a big squad. If there is any update, we will let you know. I don’t comment on other teams’ players. I can’t concern myself with other clubs. I know the club is working well and hard to have a strong squad as possible. Sometimes speculation is there and we can’t control that.”

Spurs’ boss Mourinho on midweek League Cup win over Chelsea“We were ready to fight, I told you. I told the players before the penalties that they were magnificent in the second half, we made Chelsea look ordinary. The team waited for the right moment…. I have to think about three games at the same time but the players only thought about this game, they were phenomenal. Phenomenal.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Man United is -108 to win while visiting Spurs register a +290 odds to get all three points against Jose Mourinho’s former club. A draw nets the bettor +260.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Manchester United – Tottenham prediction

Tottenham’s looked the superior team in all competitions so far, though United’s stars have yet to really fire on all cylinders aside from Bruno Fernandes. The variables for this weekend, however, favor United. Spurs will have played Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday while United played Saturday-Tuesday. If Old Trafford was full of screaming fans we might expect a little more advantage for a home side, too. Son’s absence looms large, though, and that will tilt the scales from a 2-2 draw to a 2-1 Man United win.


How to watch Manchester United – Tottenham stream and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Report: Tottenham lands Mourinho’s No. 1 striker target from Benfica

Carlos Vinicius to Tottenham
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images
Leave a comment

If Gareth Bale doesn’t have “it” anymore, then Jose Mourinho’s gonna have other options.

Heck, even if he does.

Tottenham will soon announce the signing of Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius on a one-year loan and $50 million-plus option-to-buy after the season.

[ MORE: Champions League draw preview ]

Not to be confused with Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior, Carlos Vinicius is a 25-year-old Brazilian striker coming off a career-year in Portugal.

Vinicius scored 23 times with 13 assists in a breakout 2019-20 season, his 18 league goals tied for the Portuguese top flight lead with teammate Pizzi and Rio Ave’s Mehdi Taremi.

He’s also comfortable coming off the bench, scoring those six of his 18 league goals in substitute performances.

[ MORE: Mourinho on League Cup defeat of Chelsea ]

Football.London reporter Alasdair Gold says Vinicius was Jose Mourinho’s No. 1 summer target but the price tag was too high earlier in the window.

Vinicius used to belong to Napoli but twice went out on loan, one of those a 16-appearance, 2-goal campaign for Monaco in Ligue 1.

The player shares an agency with Cristiano Ronaldo, Ederson, Ruben Neves, Ruben Dias, and Matt Doherty.