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No intra-PL sale for Alexis; Liverpool won’t move Coutinho

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If Alexis Sanchez sees his future away from Arsenal, then he’ll have to pack up and leave the country.

That’s according to a report from The Times of London, which states that upon Sanchez’s full return to training from overcoming the flu, he was told by manager Arsene Wenger that if he still desired to leave Arsenal this summer, he wouldn’t be sold to Chelsea or Manchester City. The two Premier League giants had been rumored as potential destinations for Sanchez this summer, should he have moved.

It appears that Wenger has learned his lesson from selling Robin Van Persie to Manchester United in 2012. Despite receiving more than $30 million for a player who had just turned 29 years old, the move angered Arsenal fans at the time and helped give Sir Alex Ferguson another Premier League title that season, with Van Persie scoring 26 league goals.

Sanchez however is approaching the final 12 months of his contract at the Emirates, and Arsenal will likely want assurances that he’ll sign a new contract in the next 30 days. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing the Chilean star for free.

Here’s a look at some more transfer rumors around the Premier League and Europe:

Liverpool not interested in Coutinho swap with Barcelona

With Neymar set to officially leave Barcelona in the next few days, the club is picking up its intensity in the transfer market to find a replacement.

One of the long-rumored targets is Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, but the Merseyside club appear unwilling to sell Coutinho, even with the chance of a Barcelona player moving the other way in return, according to a report from the Liverpool Echo.

After simple transfer bids were rejected, the report states that Liverpool wouldn’t be interested in trading Coutinho for Rafinha or Andre Gomes, two players that have been linked with Jurgen Klopp.

Barcelona extending its net

Barcelona are looking to replace Neymar with a similar high-profile player.

According to multiple reports across Europe, Barcelona has identified Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele, Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as possible replacements.

With around $262 million in funds to use, transfer fees won’t be an issue for the club, though it could mean that some teams play hard ball in order to earn a few extra million from a sale.

At the same time, Barcelona would reportedly be interested in any of Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler, Adrian Rabiot or Marco Verratti as part of a trade deal for Neymar.

Manchester City insert buy-back clause for Iheanacho

If Kelechi Iheanacho becomes as good as they presume he’ll be, then he’ll be available to them on a bargain, for modern transfer fee standards.

With Romelu Lukaku moving to Manchester United for around $100 million and Alexandre Lacazette joining Arsenal for around $70 million, Manchester City has reportedly inserted a $66 million buy-back clause in Iheanacho’s impending transfer move to Leicester City.

The 20-year-old Nigerian is making a full transfer for $33 million this summer, but should he become a Premier League star, Manchester City will be able to buy him back for likely less than he’d be worth on the open market, with teams from Spain, France and Germany also bidding for his services.

Ibrahimovic scores twice, 10-man Galaxy ties Sounders 2-2

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Carson, Calif. (AP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in each half and the LA Galaxy tied the Seattle Sounders 2-2 on Saturday night despite playing nearly the entire match down a man.

The Galaxy’s Daniel Steres was sent off in the sixth minute for the denial of obvious goal opportunity.

Ibrahimovic tied it at 1 for the Galaxy (13-11-2) with a header in the 45th minute. In the 65th minute, he was taken down by Kim Kee-hee while going for a header in the area and converted the penalty, making it 2-1 with his 20th goal of the season.

LA defender Jorgen Skjelvik scored an own goal in the 82nd minute when he inadvertently deflected goalkeeper David Bingham’s attempted clearance into the Galaxy net.

Raul Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 42nd minute for the Sounders (11-8-7). Harry Shipp hustled to round up a loose ball and fed it to an open Ruidiaz, who slotted it home.

MLS Wrap: What we learned

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Three unanswered goals from FC Dallas to earn a draw, a late Jozy Altidore goal and Chicago cruises past Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union: Saturday’s early slate of games had it all. Here’s what we learned from the busy action.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Montreal, Dallas split points in six-goal thriller

The Montreal Impact, up 3-0 in the 56th minute, probably thought they had the game in the bag. Dallas said, ‘not so fast.’

With three unanswered goals – one of those in stoppage time – Dallas did the unthinkable, stunning the Impact and flying back home with a point that tastes like three.

Dallas, like practically everyone else in the West this season, is dreaming of cracking into the final seven. Whether that happens or not is yet to be seen. What was palpable on Saturday, however, is that Dallas played with a lot of determination on the road and with all the odds against them.

Chicago gets by Philadelphia with ease

The Philadelphia Union are good but not good enough to beat the Chicago Fire, apparently.

It could have been the league’s well-known parity, or the fact that the Union were on the road, but the Fire were able to squeeze out the three points, winning 2-0 with 10 men. Nicolas Gaitan earned a straight red right before halftime.

The Union, a proven side time and time again this season, alternatively, have questions to answer and a set of defects that were unearth Saturday (including finishing) to polish up on. But as they shown several times this season after suffering loses, they’ll bounce back under Jim Curtin.

The Fire (33 points) sit one point behind Montreal, Toronto and Orlando, while Philadelphia (45 points) remain clear leaders in the Eastern Conference.


NYCFC too much for Cincinnati 

NYCFC had quite the showing.

With Valentin Castellanos and Heber recording a brace each, Allan Cruz’s goal stood no chance. City, who are now third in the Eastern Conference with 41 points (one behind Atlanta), are clearly in midseason form, while FC Cincinnati is yet to win under Ron Jans.

With a defense that has allowed 61 goals – like the one above – Jans’ rest of the season is looking bleaker than brighter. But then again, it’s with a team he purely adopted. It worth noting that New York’s attack has produced eight goals in the last three games, so maybe that was the determining factor.




Altidore earns last-minute draw for Toronto

Like in many other instances, it was Altidore to the rescue for Toronto FC.

Its goal No. 10 for the 29-year-old goal, making it his fourth season with double digit goals. Jonathan Osorio, too, pitched in a goal in the 42nd minute. 26 games in, this is exactly when Greg Vanney needs his big-time players to step up.

The Columbus Crew, in contrast, can’t catch a break. Once again the superior team, a lack of finishing and defensive concentration make it three-straight draws for the Caleb Porter’s men. With seven games to go and seven points out of playoff contention, even a late run might not be enough for a postseason regular.

Sporting KC earn valuable win against Quakes (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  While the San Jose Earthquakes continue to drop in the playoff race, Sporting Kansas City are slowly creeping their way into contention after their 2-1 victory against San Jose. The Quakes, who have lost their last two games, are now sixth in the Western Conference and depending on the Portland Timbers’ result, can fall right above the red line. Surely, it’s not what Matias Almeyda desires, despite being the master of overcoming adversity. Peter Vermes’ side, on the other hand, is now six points out of the playoffs, a reachable distance with eight games left. The Quakes had the game in their hands in the first half, though, controlling the pace of the game. The home side’s finishing in the final 45 that got the job done, however. Moving forward, turnaround for both teams will have to be instantaneous as the Quakes travel to LAFC and Kansas City hosts Minnesota United, respectively.

Three moments that mattered

25′ — Wondolowski sets MLS record —

Whatever you do, don’t leave Wondolowski unmarked unless you want to get scored on.

48′ — Feilhaber rips it into the back of the net  —

Benny Feilhaber still has it, obviously.

73′ — Smith seals a massive victory for Sporting  —

Not who one expected to earn Kansas City three points, but soccer is all about surprises.

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Chris Wondolowski sets another MLS record in historic career

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Just months removed from becoming MLS’ all-time leading goalscorer, Chris Wondolowski is putting pen to the record book once again.

The 36-year-old is the league’s first player to ever score 10 goals (or more) in 10 consecutive seasons. His tenth of the season came against Sporting Kansas City, who, for one reason or another, left him unmarked in the box on a corner kick – an imprudent defensive strategy.

Wondolowski’s regular-season tally is now at 154 goals, 31 goals clear of Kei Kamara‘s 123, who is the second highest active goalscorer in the league.

The San Jose Earthquakes captain’s record run began in 2010. He was 27.