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Transfer Rumors: Schneiderlin to Everton; Van Dijk to Man City; Chelsea target trio

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Morgan Schneiderlin is a wanted man.

[ MORE: United to spend $220 million?

Reports are suggesting that both Everton and West Bromwich Albion are in for the French international midfielder who has become an outsider under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

Schneiderlin, 27, joined United from Southampton for $30 million in the summer of 2015 and after a bright start to his career at Old Trafford under Louis Van Gaal, Schneiderlin became increasingly sidelined last season and that’s continued this season as he’s made just four appearances in the Premier League.

The Telegraph states that West Brom has made a club record $22.1 million bid for Schneiderlin, while Everton is also said to be interested in a permanent deal with Ronald Koeman eager to link up with his former player.

United certainly have to cut some deadwood with reports suggesting a massive $220 million spending spree is on the way as Mourinho continues to remodel his squad. Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger could both be let go in January and it would seem the Frenchman would be more likely to make a big impact at Everton. With Gareth Barry in the twilight of his career, Schneiderlin could slot in alongside James McCarthy and Idrissa Gueye in central midfield and provide the ability to link up play with his impressive passing range.


Given his superb form for Southampton, Virgil Van Dijk‘s name continues to be linked with big money moves away from St Mary’s.

[ MORE: Pardew fired by Palace

The Dutch center back, 25, has now been linked with a move to Manchester City as the Daily Mail reports that talks have been held between the two clubs about a $61.4 million transfer for VVD.

Would he slot in to Pep Guardiola‘s system at the Etihad Stadium? Of course he would. Van Dijk is comfortable on the ball, quick and strong in defense and has become one of the best defenders in the Premier League. Given City’s problems in central defense with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi susceptible on the counter, plus Vincent Kompany‘s continued injuries, making a big move for Van Dijk makes sense.

However, with the Dutchman happy at Southampton and Saints unlikely to sell in January, it is more likely this move will happen in the summer. Van Dijk joined Saints from Celtic in September 2015 for $17 million. So, in just over a year his value will have soared by $48 million. Not bad business from Saints, if they do let him go and if a club offering UEFA Champions League action comes in for one of Saints’ star players we’ve seen them let plenty of players go in the past for a big profit.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are also said to be interested in Van Dijk.


Premier League leaders Chelsea are set to launch a bid to strengthen its squad in January.

The Telegraph suggests that the incoming $75 million for Oscar from Shanghai SIPG (that deal will be confirmed in the coming days) will be used to try and sign Monaco duo Djibril Sidibe and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Bakayoko, 22, was watched by Antonio Conte against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League and the holding midfielder has also been linked with a move to Manchester United. If Chelsea manage to offload Cesc Fabregas, Bakayoko would provide more steel and power to Chelsea’s already incredibly industrious midfield. As for Sidibe, he’s an attacking right back at Monaco and he could maybe push Victor Moses for minutes as a right wing back in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation.

The report also states that Roma and Belgium midfielder Radja Nainggolan continues to interest Chelsea and the 28-year-old may be targeted in January if Oscar’s move goes through and out of favor Fabregas moves on.

Court date for USWNT’s law suit versus U.S. Soccer delayed

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A court case that has dragged U.S. Soccer’s administration through the mud and led to a change of leadership may drag into the summer.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

A judge in California has delayed the May 5 trial of gender discrimination against the USSF until June 16 due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. A pretrial conference was also moved to June 1.

The federation is being sued by members of the two-time reigning World Cup champion USWNT under the Equal Pay Act.

The women are requesting more than $66 million in damages.

The extra month gives both parties more time to reach a settlement which could keep this ugly case away from trial. Given the uncertainty in our world, it could of course be delayed again.

The USSF has a new CEO in Will Wilson, who can make a major statement of change by stopping the trial from reaching court.

Handicapping the Final Four of Premier League March Madness

Premier League March Madness
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Our Premier League March Madness results have been as topsy-turvy as the 2019/20 on-field campaign before coronavirus halted it last month.

Yes, the runaway No. 1 seed is alive, but the second, third, fourth, and fifth seeds have been expelled from the tournament within the first two rounds.

Voting in the semifinal round begins Thursday.

[ RESULTS: March Madness Round of 16 ]

Before we go any further, if you’re unfamiliar: To make sure you’re not missing out on either March Madness or the business end of the PL season, we’ve gone ahead and merged the two competitions. The March Madness Final Four and Championship game were due to take place this weekend in Atlanta but now you will be voting on Tottenham v. Arsenal instead of Duke v. Kansas.

Teams are seeded from 1-16 based on their current spot in the table, with Aston Villa winning the relegation playoffs on Monday to remain in the Premier League.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ] 

Before we handicap the semifinal matches, let’s take a look at where the field sits after your Wednesday voting.

No. 1 Liverpool v. No. 12 Everton
No. 6 Wolves v. No. 7 Sheffield United

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Look, all bets are off for the derby. The Everton faithful has shown up in a big way during voting, dispatching Manchester United and Chelsea.

That’s big time stuff, though Liverpool ended the dreams of our presumptive sleeping giant favorite Arsenal after beating West Ham in the Sweet Sixteen.

The Reds are going to have to not just been upstart Everton but overcome the legions of rival supporters who would happily click the Toffees’ box rather than see Liverpool gain the crown.

The other side of the bracket sees No. 7 Sheffield United looking to continue its surprising run in both the PL season and our voting.

The Blades knocked off Man City, potentially aided by the same phenomenon Everton hopes to see on Thursday.

Now they meet Wolves, who may be riding a crest of North American momentum in the form of affinity for El Tri hero Raul Jimenez.

Our prediction: Everton and Wolves in the Final.

RESULTS: Premier League March Madness Elite Eight

Premier League March Madness
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Everton continued its upset path toward in our Premier League March Madness voting, showing its sensational support and setting up a fantastic eMerseyside Derby in the Final Four.

Thousands of votes were cast Wednesday, and the Toffees upset isn’t even the top underdog story.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ] 

Chris Wilder’s Blades of Sheffield United won a back-and-forth affair with No. 2 seed Manchester City to move into the semifinals.

That’s where they’ll meet No. 6 seed Wolves, who powered past Leicester City as if it wasn’t a challenge.

If you want to see the full game schedule, seedings and bracket, here is the post you need as the tournament will run all week long:

Monday: Relegation semifinals, final – Aston Villa prevailed, Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford relegated
TuesdaySweet 16 results in full
Wednesday: Elite Eight
Thursday: Final Four
Friday: Championship game

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

IFAB: New handball rule can be adopted when games resume

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The International Football Association Board (IFAB) issued a letter from secretary Lukas Brud on Wednesday, outlining several changes to the game.

The “tee shirt line” handball rule may be coming to club football quicker than expected due to the coronavirus suspension of the 2019/20 season.

IFAB will allow leagues the choice to use the new handball rule when matches resume this season, also making changes to VAR protocol and vowing to review the offside rule.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The new handball rule states that the shoulder goes to the end of the shirt sleeve or the bottom of the armpit (though obviously not in the case of a long-sleeve jersey).

For the purposes of determining handball offences, the ‘arm’ stops at the bottom of the armpit

So… get ready for baggy, longer jersey sleeves, or the increased recruitment of players with the longest armpits.

Kidding aside, the handball rule desperately needed clarification and we’ll see if this gives enough to fans and players alike.

Referees will now be “expected” to go to the screen on the field when a call is subjective, forcing the official to either uphold or overrule his initial call.

This same post says IFAB will now allow accidental handballs in the run-up to a goal in certain situations.

“Accidental handball by an attacking player should only be penalized if it ‘immediately’ results in a goal or an obvious opportunity for the player and/or their team to score a goal (i.e. following the handball, the ball travels only a short distance and/or there are very few passes).”

Well, that needs some clarification.

Back to the timing issue for the new handball rule, it seems logical that leagues would want to introduce new laws with a new season but stand-by for the decision of your favorite league.

As for the offside rule, “The members agreed that the fundamental philosophy of offside is underpinned by a desire to encourage attacking football and the scoring of goals. It was further agreed, therefore, that Law 11 – Offside should be analyzed and reviewed with a view to potentially proposing changes reflecting this philosophy.”

It’s a lot to unpack, and we’ll surely here from proponents and opponents of the changes soon. As always, implementation will make the biggest difference in how these changes are received.