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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.

Vote of confidence? Woodward says Mourinho, players “fully united”

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If you thought a Manchester derby defeat would be the final nail in the coffin for Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Manchester United, think again.

[ MORE: Fulham hire Claudio Ranieri after firing Slavisa Jokanovic ]

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward put to bed any speculation that Mourinho would be fired during the current international break — as many had speculated might be the case — despite the club’s poor start to the Premier League season. The Red Devils sit eighth in the table, a dozen points back of leaders Manchester City after as many games played.

Not only is Mourinho going nowhere this week, Woodward insists everyone at the club remains “fully united” and pulling in the same direction — quotes from the Mirror:

“On the pitch we remain well-positioned in the Champions League, and although we’ve had a mixed start to our domestic campaign, the squad and the manager are fully united in their determination to regain our momentum in the Premier League.”

Woodward would hardly come out and say, “We’re far from pleased with the performances of Mourinho and the players, if things don’t turn around he’s gone in [X-number of] games,” but the fact he’s been forced to speak about the topic indicates Mourinho’s place at the club is hardly secure or guaranteed.

Chelsea facing possible two-year transfer ban

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Chelsea face a two-year transfer ban, allegedly recommended by FIFA’s integrity and compliance unit, over their signing of foreign under-18 players.

[ MORE: Fulham hire Claudio Ranieri after firing Slavisa Jokanovic ]

According to documents from Football Leaks, French website Mediapart claims 19 of the club’s signings — 14 of which were under the age of 18 — have been looked at in a three year-long investigation. Former striker Bertrand Traore is the most well-known of the players, and allegedly the most egregious of the transfers, in question.

It is alleged that Chelsea misled FIFA over the date Traore signed his first professional contract with the club and when he was registered with the English Football Association. The Burkinabe forward made 25 appearances — at under-16, under-18 and first-team levels — for Chelsea despite allegedly not being registered with the FA.

His initial contract is also alleged to have been a four-and-a-half-year deal, when the limit for players under the age of 18 is capped at three years.

[ MORE: Chelsea expected to let Gary Cahill leave on loan in January ]

FIFA transfer rules stipulate that players can only be transferred to another country if the player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasons.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid each endured transfer bans for similar misdeeds with under-18 signings in recent years.

Scudamore gets $6 million as he leaves Premier League

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LONDON (AP) Premier League clubs have agreed to give departing chairman Richard Scudamore $6 million over three years despite a public backlash.

The Football Supporters’ Federation had urged clubs not to give Scudamore the money after news of the planned payment leaked. But the league says “the payments are in recognition of the outstanding work Richard has carried out over the last 19 years.”

In a statement after a meeting of the 20 clubs on Thursday, the league said Scudamore will “remain available in an advisory capacity,” and justified the payments as being a “vital” part of “a comprehensive set of non-compete clauses.”

Premier League clubs vote VAR into use for 2019-20 season

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It’s been inevitable for quite some time, but now it’s official: video review will be used in the Premier League when the 2019-20 season kicks off next August.

[ MORE: Fulham hire Claudio Ranieri after firing Slavisa Jokanovic ]

20 of 20 current PL clubs voted on Thursday to confirm the use of the modern technology beginning next season.

The Bundesliga and Serie A began using the video assistant referee (VAR) at the start of the 2017-18 season, and have continued (successful) operation of the system in 2018-19. Major League Soccer introduced the protocol two-thirds of the way through its 2017 season, to far greater degrees of varying success. La Liga is set to begin use of VAR next season as well.

[ MORE: England vs. USMNT preview ]

VAR was first used in the English game last season, when select FA Cup fixtures were used as test runs, while the same is being done in the EFL Cup this season.