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Sigurdsson out of Swansea’s U.S. tour as Everton move nears

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Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s exit from Swansea City now seems inevitable and one of the biggest moves of the summer is well and truly on.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s next star striker? ]

Sigurdsson, 27, has been left out of Swansea’s squad for their preseason trip to the USA with the club making an announcement Thursday following constant speculation over his future in South Wales.

It has been widely reported that Everton will now come in with an improved bid for the player after their initial bid of $51.7 million was reportedly turned down.

Here’s the statement from the Swans on Sigurdsson.

“We can confirm that Gylfi Sigurdsson will not travel with the squad for our pre-season tour of the USA. Having played vs. Barnet last night, Gylfi did not feel in the right frame of mind to travel due to the current uncertainty over his future.”

The Swans are said to want $65 million for Sigurdsson and their manager Paul Clement spoke after the 1-0 friendly defeat at Barnet on Wednesday, saying that there was “strong interest” in Sigurdsson and that they “are not sure whether he is going to be here for this season.”

Sigurdsson’s output in a poor Swansea side was remarkable in 2016-17 with the Icelandic international scoring nine goals and grabbing 13 assists to keep the Swans in the PL. His silky crosses and key passes in the final third have teams lining up to try and sign him.

It is believed both Leicester City and Everton have already had bids turned down by Swansea this summer and although they do not want to sell Sigurdsson the situation now seems to have spiraled out of control.

If Everton do sign Sigurdsson then it would surely mark Ross Barkley‘s exit from Goodison Park as Ronald Koeman continues to be ruthless in the transfer market and rebuild his squad.

Despite selling top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for $96.5 million, Koeman has added Davy Klassen, Wayne Rooney and Sandro Ramirez in the attacking area of the pitch, while Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford have arrived to strengthen their defense.

Everton’s total spend for this summer will soar past $180 million if Sigurdsson does arrive and owner Farhad Moshiri will have kept his promise about spending big to try and turn the Toffees into a top four outfit. Sigurdsson would be one of the final pieces of the jigsaw for Koeman who is hoping to cope with the loss of Lukaku by having several attackers chip in with “10-15 goals” this season.

For Swansea, this would be a big blow in Clement’s plans for the new season and it means they will have lost three key players who helped keep them up last season with Jack Cork signing for Burnley, Sigurdsson on the way out and Fernando Llorente struggling to be fit for the start of the season after suffering a broken arm over the summer.

Rumored Neymar for Bale swap: Who wins?

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Who would gain more of an advantage from the rumored, sensational Gareth Bale for Neymar swap: Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid?

Both players are currently problems for their clubs, though neither is known as a true rabble-rouser; Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to be done with the newly-minted 30-year-old Bale, while PSG knows Neymar wants to leave and would love to satiate Kylian Mbappe’s appetite to be the man at their club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

Presumably some money would be headed PSG’s way in addition to Bale, and both clubs would be getting a motivated megawatt star.

Neymar doesn’t turn 28 until February, but the difference in age may be offset by the Brazilian’s track record of injuries.

In fact, his injury status last season combines with an off-field accusation of sexual assault and a red card for confronting a fan to overshadow his production: Neymar’s 23 goals and 13 assists in just over 2300 minutes last season, including five and two in the Champions League (and a goal and an assist against defensively-stout Liverpool).

Bale presents very few personality challenges, and PSG won’t have a problem with his massive wages (especially with Neymar off the books). His numbers have dipped in two of three seasons since his otherworldly 2015-16, but La Liga is a more difficult scoring league than Ligue 1.

Neymar has twice been a Ballon d’Or finalist and, presuming his legal troubles don’t persist, could be a title fight changer in La Liga. Imagine the Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Luka Jovic trying to outgun Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez? Insane.

We’d say Real would be winning the straight-up swap, and that it’s pretty unlikely to go down that way. So it depends what PSG does with the relative Financial Fair Play freedom that would come with the money that also arrives from Spain. Is it Idrissa Gana Gueye? Someone else who helps take PSG’s Champions League hopes to the next level?

Manchester United in ‘concrete talks’ with Lille over Pepe

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Manchester United are reportedly in “concrete talks” to agree a fee with Lille for much-tracked playmaker Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others, and Lille has admitted he’ll be leaving the club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

United’s reported salvo was around $87.5 million. He’d give them a star who could play across from Anthony Martial or as an attacking midfielder under Romelu Lukaku.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Teji Savanier garnered better season-long ratings than Pepe in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign, and Pepe’s 22 goals and 11 assists stand out from the pack. Only Mbappe had more goals and only Savanier more assists.

Pepe has four goals in 11 caps for the Ivory Coast, and made three starts in Les Elephants’ five-match run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s a fit for the Premier League, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s system. And if the Red Devils can keep him from Liverpool, well, all the better we’re sure.

Report: Manchester United, Leicester agree to monster Maguire fee

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Manchester United and Leicester City have agreed a fee for Harry Maguire, clearing the way for the English center back to join the Old Trafford set.

That fee is a whopping $100 million, according to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones. That’s about $4 million more than the world record for a defender, set when Liverpool purchased Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

[ MORE: USMNT CB to West Ham? ]

Maguire has been a statistical monster for Leicester City, and he passes the eye test, too.

Manchester United has needed to upgrade its stable of center backs for some time, and now the biggest question is who will work best alongside the 6-foot-4 26-year-old.

The former Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City defender is now 20-times capped by England.

The move could have a ripple effect on the Premier League, as the Foxes have been expected to bid for Burnley star James Tarkowski should Maguire leave the King Power Stadium.

Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT’s Long to London, Newcastle linked with pair

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Could USMNT center back Aaron Long be headed to the Premier League?

The 26-year-old could join West Ham United’s stable of center backs, which includes Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, and Angelo Ogbonna.

Sky Sports says that the Red Bulls defender has drawn the interest of Lyon and Fiorentina, but been offered to the Irons should they match his $5 million release clause.

Unable to find a place with Portland and Seattle, Long spent a few seasons in the USL before earning a place with RBNY.

Now 11-times capped by the USMNT with two goals, Long could be bringing his talents to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United has the chance to sign oft-injured Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The longtime Arsenal striker, weaned at Manchester United, scored five times in 12 matches last season in a return to injury woes following a 43-match season the prior year.

Newcastle is also being linked with a former defender. James Tavernier has gone on to captain Glasgow Rangers, and the 27-year-old would cost around $10 million.

Surely Steven Gerrard would want more for the defender, but prices haven’t met quality for Scottish Premiership players as we’ve seen with Kieran Tierney at Celtic.