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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bartra to Man United; Giroud to Everton

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Spanish outlet AS is reporting that Manchester United want to sign Borussia Dortmund center back Marc Bartra.

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The 26-year-old was a regular for the Bundesliga giants last season, his first in Germany’s top-flight after arriving from boyhood club Barcelona.

Per the report, Jose Mourinho wants Bartra to add cover for United’s central defensive area after adding Victor Lindelof from Benfica, plus having Eric Bailly as his top center back. A move for Bartra would likely see Phil Jones and Chris Smalling out of the picture at Old Trafford, with Marcos Rojo set to return from injury after the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

Bartra was injured in a bomb explosion close to Dortmund’s team bus before a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against AS Monaco last season. The Spanish international had surgery on his arm as his missed the final months of the season but he made his comeback in the final game of the campaign as Dortmund secured UCL group stage qualification for the 2017-18 campaign.

A ball-playing center back, Bartra would provide a calming influence in United’s defense but it seems unlikely that he would be a regular starter to begin with under Mourinho. That said, with plenty of games next season for United as they return to the UCL, plus mount a PL title challenge, Mourinho will want to make sure he has plenty of cover in defense.


With Everton continuing to splash the cash at a rapid rate, it seems only right to believe that Romelu Lukaku could be on his way out of Goodison Park this summer.

Given Alexandre Lacazette’s imminent arrival at Arsenal and Olivier Giroud‘s Gunners future appearing to be coming to an end, if you start to connect the dots then the latter replacing Lukaku at Everton makes sense.

The Sun has a report which states that the Toffees are willing to buy Giroud, 30, from Arsenal this summer and pay $25.8 million for the French international.

Giroud is still criticized by many for his hot and cold nature, but when you look at his stats it’s tough to not be impressed. He has 69 goals in 164 Premier League appearances since arriving in 2012 from Montpellier, plus has 98 goals in 226 games in all competitions for the Gunners. That’s an average of just over a goal every other game.

If Lukaku does leave Everton then Giroud would be a perfect replacement, and arguably his hold-up play and aerial ability is better than Lukaku’s. With Sandro Ramirez arriving from Malaga to add another forward option, Giroud would be fighting with Ramirez for a starting spot if Lukaku was to leave. All of a sudden the Toffees seem true to their word about investing some serious cash into their squad following the arrival of Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez this summer.

Could the Toffees benefit from a transfer merry-go-round which sees Lukaku head to Chelsea, Lacazaette to Arsenal and Giroud to Everton? It appears the dominoes are all in place for Ronald Koeman and Co. to benefit.

Mourinho on Man United: “We are not a team”

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Manchester United drew 0-0 with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer on Sunday and it’s safe to say Jose Mourinho didn’t seem impressed.

The stalemate at Levi’s Stadium continued Mourinho’s theme of complaining about the players he doesn’t have at his disposal as many are still on a break after the World Cup and won’t link up with United until they return to the UK ahead of the Premier League season starting on August 10.

Speaking to MUTV after the game, Mourinho had the following to say on United’s second consecutive draw after their 1-1 result against Liga MC side Club America on Thursday.

“We are not a team. We’re a group of players from different teams,” Mourinho said. “Some are first-team, some under-23s, some coming from loans and going on loan, some are younger, under-18s. We don’t have a team to play much better than we did but [it’s] one more training session.”

That assessment is fair enough, preseason is about practice rather than results, but these sessions are about to step up with games against AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in the next week.

Mourinho still has the likes of Juan Mata, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera and now Alexis Sanchez on tour after the latter sorted out a visa issue. Hardly just the U-18 team.

He’s missing Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Maraoune Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford and Victor Lindelof after their deep runs at the World Cup this summer, plus David De Gea, Marcos Rojo and new signing Fred. So, he does have a point about United’s options being depleted for preseason.

But he’s known this would be the case for months and the likes of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City seems delighted to give youngsters a chance rather than focus on all of his stars who won’t return until right at the start of the PL season.

If United have a slow start to the PL campaign, I wonder what Mourinho will point to as the main reason for that…

Comedy result becomes a reality: East Fife 4, Forfar 5

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LONDON (AP) The result of a Scottish League Cup Group B match has become a case of life imitating art after Forfar Athletic beat East Fife in a penalty shootout.

It was East Fife 4, Forfar 5 – a favorite tongue-twisting fictional result of the late British comedian Eric Morecambe.

The British list and read soccer results with the home team first, followed by the away team.

The BBC has reported the result as a first in head-to-heads featuring the teams, although it wasn’t entirely as Morecambe would have liked. The match finished 1-1 before Forfar won 5-4 on penalties.

The BBC says there’d been at least one near miss in the past, with the wrong team at home when Forfar beat East Fife 5-4 in 1964.

Liga MX wrap: Xolos beats Chivas as Apertura begins

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Liga MX’s Apertura season is off and running with all 18 clubs partaking in a match this weekend.

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Club Tijuana 2-1 Chivas Guadalajara

Scoreless at the half, the weekend’s marquee match sprang to life in the final 45. Juan Martin Lucero gave TJ a 54th minute lead before Jose Van Rankin knotted it up five minutes later.

Lucero assisted Jose Rivero’s 75th minute winner, which was helped in its status when Michael Perez took a red card in the 80th.

Cruz Azul 3-0 Puebla

Elias Hernandez scored a goal and added an assist, and Milton Caraglio put one of his five shots on goal into the net. Andres Renteria also scored in the win.

Tigres 2-0 Leon

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored, and Lucas Zelarayan marked a goal and an assist in the win.

Elsewhere
Necaxa 2-1 Club America
Toluca 2-0 Morelia
Santos Laguna 2-1 Lobos BUAP
Pachuca 0-1 Monterrey
Veracruz 0-2 Pumas UNAM
Atlas 0-0 Queretaro

Report: Colorado acquires USMNT mid Acosta for Badji

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The West’s first place team is switching it up in a big way.

FC Dallas is sending Homegrown Player and USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta to Western foes Colorado Rapids in exchange for striker Dominique Badji, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.

[ MORE: Pulisic rips up Liverpool ]

Acosta, 22, has 17 caps and a goal for the U.S., and is primarily a defensive midfielder. He’s also played right and left back.

He’s appeared 139 times for Dallas, scoring 13 times with nine assists, but had fallen out with head coach Oscar Pareja. He’s also struggled mightily on the field, according to WhoScored.

Badji, 25, has seven goals and three assists in 16 matches for the Rapids this season, building on an eight-goal, five-assist campaign last season.

FCD has gotten six goals out of forward Maxi Urruti, and there’s been little production from anyone else. Cristian Colman is out with an ankle injury and managed just a pair of goals in 399 minutes.

The risk of trading Acosta is mitigated by the continued speculation that he may test the waters of European soccer. Badji’s a quality player, but Colorado may’ve gotten a bargain in its push to escape the dregs of the West.