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Transfer Rumor Wrap: Everton steps up Rooney interest; Lacazette completes medical

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Wayne Rooney may be prepared to leave Manchester United this summer, but it seems that he will be staying in the Premier League for the time being.

According to multiple reports, Everton is “stepping up interest” in signing Rooney this summer, reuniting the Merseyside native with his old club for the first time since his big move to Manchester United in 2004. The reports claim that Man United will allow Rooney to leave for Everton on a free transfer.

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It’s unclear whether Rooney would come in as a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who has been rumored with a transfer to a former club of his, Chelsea this summer.

Even if Rooney arrives and Lukaku leaves Everton, Rooney hasn’t played the target striker role in some years and may be more of a boost to the attacking midfield than the forward corps.

Here’s a look at more transfer rumors this morning:


Arsenal close to completing record-signing

Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette is on the verge of completing a move to Arsenal.

The 26-year-old Frenchman completed a medical with Arsenal Wednesday according to multiple reports, with the English club reportedly paying $68 million for Lacazette’s services. If true, that would be a club record, smashing the current record fee of nearly $55 million that was paid to Real Madrid for Mesut Ozil in 2014.

Lacazette is coming off a season in which he scored 37 goals in 45 matches for Lyon, including 28 in Ligue 1, good for second-best in the league.

Lacazette’s signing, especially early in the transfer window, would be a big boost to Arsenal’s striking corps, though it’s unclear what this could mean for Olivier Giroud, Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck, who have all played the target striker role for Arsenal in the past.


 

Huddersfield break transfer record for Ligue 1 striker

Arsenal isn’t the only Premier League club bringing in talent this summer from Ligue 1.

Huddersfield Town announced Wednesday it had signed Steve Mounie on a four-year contract from Montpellier. According to the multiple reports, former Montpellier owner Laurent Nicollin said it was a $14.7 million transfer fee plus add-ons, which would be a new Huddersfield record for a transfer signing.

The 22-year-old Benin National Team forward scored 14 goals for Montpellier last season.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal close in on Leno; Man City near Jorginho signing, and more

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Arsenal looks like it will have a new man between the pipes for next season.

According to a report from German publication SportBild, Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno will be introduced as an Arsenal player on Tuesday, after a reported $23-29 million transfer fee. The 26-year-old was on Germany’s 35-man pre-World Cup squad, but was one of the last cuts as Joachim Low went with Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp in Russia.

Leno became the full-time starter for Leverkusen as a 20-year-old, and has held the position of the No. 1 for the last six seasons, earning plenty of Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League experience along the way.

It’s unclear what will happen to current Arsenal No. 1 Petr Cech. The 36-year-old Premier League legend experienced one of his worst seasons in net for Arsenal and he could begin the season as a backup, unless he moves to a new club. He reportedly has a contract through 2019.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the Premier League and Europe.

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VIDEO: Mertens scores wonderstrike for Belgium

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After a frustrating 45 minutes, it took only two minutes for Belgium to finally get on the board, even if it was a goal sprinkled with magic dust.

Off a partially cleared ball on the right side of the box, Belgium attacker Dries Mertens whalloped a shot that arced over Panama (and former LA Galaxy) goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, giving Belgium a 1-0 lead.

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Croatia’s Kalinic sent home from World Cup

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It’s only been five days, and we have our first World Cup dismissal.

According to a bombshell report out of Croatia, Croatia National Team head coach Zlatko Dalic has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic from the team’s camp, after the AC Milan player reportedly refused to be a substitute during Croatia’s 2-0 win over Nigeria.

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[Update: The Croatia FA confirmed the decision, releasing this statement from Dalic. “During the Nigeria encounter, Kalinić was warming up and was supposed to come on in the second half. However, he then stated that he wasn’t ready to come on due to a back issue. The same thing happened during the Brazil friendly in England, as well as before the practice session on Sunday. I have calmly accepted that, and since I need my players fit and ready to play, I have made this decision.”]

The report states that Kalinic refused to come on due to an injury, but Dalic had said recently that his team had no injuries that would keep players out, potentially meaning that Kalinic used the injury claim as an excuse.

Croatia’s FA is expected to confirm the news on Monday.

After a rough season at AC Milan, with just six league goals in 31 Serie A appearances, Kalinic, at 30, is likely finished with the Vatreni. He scored three goals in World Cup qualifying but hasn’t started for Croatia since a 2-0 win over Peru in March. Kalinic did score against Spain in Croatia’s shock 2-1 win exactly two years prior to Saturday’s match.

He was deemed second choice to Mario Mandzukic as the center forward up top, but was reportedly asked to spell Mandzukic during Croatia’s match against Nigeria, and Kalinic reportedly refused.

If true, Croatia will continue with 22 players for the remainder of the tournament.

VAR, Granqvist penalty lead Sweden over South Korea

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On Day 5 of the World Cup, VAR took center stage once again.

Referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador made the trek over to the video monitor in the 63rd minute after a no-call on a South Korea challenge in its own box, eventually reversing his decision and giving Sweden a penalty kick. Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist stepped up and sent his side in front before holding on for a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Monday morning in Nizhny Novgorod.

With the win, Sweden is joint top of Group F with Mexico on three points.

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The key moment in the match took place in the 62nd minute, as Sweden’s Viktor Claesson got his foot on a loose ball first before South Korea’s Kim Min-woo went through Claesson to clear the ball away.

Aguilar initially waved the penalty claim away, but after about 20 seconds and a word from his assistant referees in his ear, Aguilar made the sign for VAR and ran over to take a second look. Around 20-30 seconds later, Aguilar reversed his decision, awarding the Swedes a penalty.

Granqvist, who plays his club football for FC Krasnodar in Russia, stepped up to the spot and with veteran poise, sent Cho Hyun-woo the wrong way for the 1-0 lead.

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Sweden had chances in the first half to get on the board. Marcus Berg was alone on goal in the 20th minute but Hyun-woo stuck out a leg and deflected it away. Another chance from Berg led to another save from Hyun-woo as he kept South Korea in the match.

Following Sweden’s goal, Sweden sat deep and allowed Heung-Min Son to find space on the wings, where South Korea set up numerous half-chances. But the final pass was just missing, and Sweden was able to clear the ball out of the box on numerous occasions, holding on to victory.

It’s a big win for Sweden, which will face an angry and pumped up Germany side coming off a loss in its first match. Meanwhile, South Korea looks to rebound against Mexico, with its spirits higher than the clouds.