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Reports: Coutinho, Dembele want Barca moves

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Liverpool, so far, are holding firm on the idea that Philippe Coutinho is not for sale, though Barcelona seems to know something the Anfield club does not.

Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol says Coutinho would like to join Barcelona, and it’s the “only way” he’d leave Liverpool. He also would only leave if the deal could be done “amicably.”

Barca president Josep-Maria Bartomeu said the club will spend the approximate $262 million Neymar exit fee “sensibly, strictly, and wisely,” and Solhekol says the Barca president remains furious with Paris Saint-Germain and the other Middle East- and Russia-bolstered clubs.

[ MORE: Premier League summer transfers, so far ]

In that sense, Barcelona has a bit of a kinship with Liverpool, adding to the intrigue of a potential move. Jurgen Klopp would be very angry if the Reds relented and sold Coutinho.

Meanwhile, Solhekol took to Twitter to say that Klopp’s former club, Borussia Dortmund, also faces temptation via Neymar’s move, with BVB star Ousmane Dembele also desiring a move to Barca and an anticipated offer of $117 million.

Liverpool already shot down a Coutinho bid of around $88 million, and Coutinho has a bigger body of work but is five years older than Dembele (who is more of a winger and has better numbers relative to age). The BVB man had an assist as Dortmund fell to Bayern in penalty kicks after 120 minutes of the Bayern Super Cup this weekend, and had 10 goals and 21 assists in all competitions last season.

Coutinho had yet to post a season as statistically significant in assists, and it’s probably fair to say that Dembele is worth more on the market if Liverpool supporters are expecting as big a haul for their Brazilian star (should the Reds actually sell).

Liverpool could resist the urge to sell for competitive reasons, though it’d be wise to see what’s on the market in terms of potential replacements (Consider that Gabriel Jesus‘ value went from $4 million to $40 million to who knows what it would be right now). In the micro sense, it’s hard to put a number on Coutinho. In the macro, and looking at Dembele in comparison, the Reds could reload in a big way.

Let’s put it this way: If Barca used the Neymar fee to buy Coutinho and Dembele, many would think the Blaugranas will have come to close to winning the exchange, or at least breaking even.

Liga MX wrap: Xolos beats Chivas as Apertura begins

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Liga MX’s Apertura season is off and running with all 18 clubs partaking in a match this weekend.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Club Tijuana 2-1 Chivas Guadalajara

Scoreless at the half, the weekend’s marquee match sprang to life in the final 45. Juan Martin Lucero gave TJ a 54th minute lead before Jose Van Rankin knotted it up five minutes later.

Lucero assisted Jose Rivero’s 75th minute winner, which was helped in its status when Michael Perez took a red card in the 80th.

Cruz Azul 3-0 Puebla

Elias Hernandez scored a goal and added an assist, and Milton Caraglio put one of his five shots on goal into the net. Andres Renteria also scored in the win.

Tigres 2-0 Leon

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored, and Lucas Zelarayan marked a goal and an assist in the win.

Elsewhere
Necaxa 2-1 Club America
Toluca 2-0 Morelia
Santos Laguna 2-1 Lobos BUAP
Pachuca 0-1 Monterrey
Veracruz 0-2 Pumas UNAM
Atlas 0-0 Queretaro

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.