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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Barton to re-join Burnley, Reds target Schmeichel

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After some time away from the Premier League, Joey Barton is set to make a return to England’s top flight.

The 34-year-old will officially re-join Burnley in January after being cast away by Rangers several months back. Barton was involved in a spat with fellow Rangers teammate Andy Halliday following a loss and was ultimately exiled by the club.

[ MORE: Costa in line for lucrative wage increase with Chelsea ]

Since, Barton has been training with Burnley before the club opted to bring back the veteran midfielder.

Goalkeepers are in high demand for some of the PL’s top sides, and Liverpool could be preparing to bring a new player to man the pipes.

The Reds are reportedly eyeing up a move for Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel in order to establish consistency at the position.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

Between Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, manager Jurgen Klopp has had much difficulty maintaining success at the goalkeeper position in his tenure at Liverpool, and the reigning PL-winning keeper Schmeichel could be the player the team needs to take over.

With the Foxes far off the pace they set a season ago as PL champions, the Reds could potentially swoop in and sign the 30-year-old.

Everton are reportedly reigniting their interest in Napoli’s Manolo Gabbiadini after previously putting in a bid for the striker last summer.

Gabbiadini is said to be unhappy with the Italian side and looking for a way out in January.

In 10 Serie A matches this season, the 25-year-old has scored one goal.

The Gunners are looking at a long-term answer at goalkeeper once Petr Cech moves on from the London side, and the club’s answer could come from Belgium.

Arsenal is reportedly interested in Standard Liege keeper Guillaume Hubert, who has already posted 13 clean sheets for the Belgian side in his young career at the club.

The 22-year-old will see his contract expire with the club in the summer, potentially giving Arsenal a legitimate shot at signing ahead of next season.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
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It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

Manchester United Watford live stream link
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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:


Manchester United



Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

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