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Chelsea agree to deal with Real Madrid for Alvaro Morata

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Chelsea have gone all out and they’ve got their man.

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The reigning Premier League champions have confirmed they’ve agreed to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, with reports stating the fee agreed is $97 million.

This deal is the biggest in club history, and the Blues released the following statement on Wednesday.

Chelsea Football Club and Real Madrid have agreed terms for the transfer of Alvaro Morata to Stamford Bridge. The move is now subject to him agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.

Morata, 24, is a Spanish international forward, and helped Real to lift a second successive Champions League last season.

It is believed Morata will arrive in London on Thursday to have a medical and discuss personal terms, with the Spaniard currently on Real Madrid’s preseason tour of the U.S.

For most of the summer it seemed like Morata would end up at Manchester United but the Red Devils plumped for Romelu Lukaku, pipping Chelsea to his signature in a $96.5 million deal. Now the Spanish international striker (who has nine goals in 20 international appearances) is heading to west London.

Morata will link up with his former manager at Juventus, Antonio Conte, as the clinical forward will become Chelsea’s main striker with Diego Costa now expected to leave Stamford Bridge for Atletico Madrid as his feud with Conte has reached the end game.

Back to Morata, this is a massive moment for Conte and Chelsea in taking the next step in their progression to challenge on the European stage. The Italian coach signed a new and improved two-year deal on Tuesday and this signing must have been a big part in him agreeing to stay on and try to improve on his title-winning campaign in his debut season in England last year.

Last season Morata spent plenty of time behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, but still scored 20 goals as he returned to the Santiago Bernabeu following two fruitful years at Juventus.

Conte had taken Morata to Turin in 2014 and the predatory forward excelled in Serie A, scoring 27 goals in 93 games in all competitions. Overall he has netted 25 goals in 63 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid over the years with most of his appearances coming off the bench.

With Conte telling Chelsea’s leading goalscorer from last season, Costa, that he was no longer needed, the Blues badly needed someone to replace his goals and now they have their man after an exhaustive search which also saw them linked with Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Andrea Belotti.

Both Costa and Nemanja Matic are likely to leave Chelsea this summer, but all of a sudden the reigning champs are looking strong with a new spine following the addition of Tiemoue Bakayoko in midfield, Antonio Rudiger in defense and Morata’s impending arrival up top.

Chelsea’s fans will be licking their chops at the prospect of Morata swiveling to head or volley home a cross from Pedro, Eden Hazard and/or Willian this season and beyond.

He has proven himself at two of Europe’s biggest clubs and now Morata is ready to lead Chelsea’s charge.

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.

Quintero, Loons pick LAFC apart in five-star win (video)

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Minnesota United throttled LAFC on Sunday, using a Christian Ramirez brace to batter the hot expansion team 5-1 in Minnesota.

Darwin Quintero had a goal and two assists for the Loons, who took advantage of LAFC’s decision not to start dominant forward Adama Diomande and center back Walker Zimmerman.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Quintero ripped off seven shots, putting five on goal. He now has 10 goals and five assists since joining the Loons after scoring two and eight in 29 matches for Club America last year.

Miguel Ibarra recorded a goal and an assist, while Rasmus Schuller also scored. LAFC’s goal came courtesy Benny Feilhaber.

Minnesota’s Bobby Shuttleworth and LA’s Tyler Miller each made six saves in their goals.

LAFC fails in a bid to make up points on Western Conference first seed FC Dallas, while the Loons now can eye a playoff spot in the West.

Already-thin Liverpool center back corps loses Matip to quad injury

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Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund featured an injury to a position with very little depth.

The Reds lost Joel Matip to what Jurgen Klopp said could possibly be a “small tear” in one of his quads.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

If Matip, 26, needs any significant time to heal up, he’ll put a major question mark into Liverpool’s opening day center back pairing.

Virgil Van Dijk, who scored against BVB on Sunday, already won’t have Dejan Lovren as a partner thanks to a post-World Cup vacation.

That leaves Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan as options next to Van Dijk.

Matches at Crystal Palace and home to Brighton and Hove Albion follow the Aug. 12 visit from West Ham.

Guingamp: 11-goal captain Briand off to Montreal

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Guingamp captain Jimmy Briand is making the move from Ligue 1 to Major League Soccer.

The French side announced that the 32-year-old, capped five times by France between 28-32, is coming to the Montreal Impact.

[ MORE: Pulisic rolls over Liverpool ]

Briand spent time with Lyon and Hannover after a eight-year stint with Rennes, where he was teammates with former USMNT captain Carlos Bocanegra.

The center forward scored 11 goals last season in France, including markers against Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco.

Briand could provide a big missing piece of Montreal’s attack. The Impact have playmakers in Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taidir, but haven’t found much from their forwards.