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10 PL players who should move in January

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With the January transfer window open, there are plenty of Premier League players who could be moving on for a fresh start this month.

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Let’s focus on the top 10 current PL players who should be on the move between now and Jan. 31 when the window shuts.

Of course, the fact that they should be on the move doesn’t mean that they will be. We all know how complex the transfer market can get, especially in January.


1) Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Walcott has been at Arsenal for 12 years and after so much early promise his injuries and a switch in formation has taken its toll. With Wenger preferring two attackers underneath a central striker in a 3-4-2-1 formation, Walcott hasn’t started a single PL game this season. A move back to the club where he started, Saints, would be a good fit for everyone and maybe he’d get the chance to play through the middle where he seems most dangerous.
Age: 28
Price: $25-30 million
Interested clubs: Southampton, Everton, West Ham
Percentage chance he moves in January: 80%


2) Jonny Evans (West Brom)

The commanding center back looked set to move in the summer but the Baggies held onto him. Alan Pardew would not want to lose his captain in January but with the Baggies on a 19-game winless run, you can understand why Evans would want to move as Man City and Arsenal battle for his signature. The former Man United center back has matured into a fine center back but only a big offer would force West Brom to sell.
Age: 30
Price: $30 million
Interested clubs: Manchester City, Arsenal
Percentage chance he moves in January: 75%


3) Danny Ings (Liverpool)

After two serious knee injuries Danny Ings is battling to get his career back on track. The England international scored goals galore at Burnley and was having a great start to life at Liverpool before his cruel injury blows. With the Fab Four, Dominic Solanke and Daniel Sturridge ahead of him at Anfield, now seems like a good time to head out on loan for six months. Plenty of clubs will be queuing up if Ings is allowed to leave on loan.
Age: 25
Price: Initial loan deal
Interested clubs: West Brom, West Ham, Newcastle, Stoke City
Percentage chance he moves in January: 75%


4) Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Given his quality, it is really tough to actually see Liverpool letting Sturridge go in this window. He has worked hard to get back to full fitness but has scored just three goals in 14 appearances in all competitions. Given the form of the Fab Four, like Ings he finds himself on the bench and reduced to cameos. Sturridge will be desperate to play regularly in a World Cup year but is a move to a struggling side, initially on loan, the right move for him?
Age: 28
Price: $40 million (or a loan deal, initially)
Interested clubs: Southampton, Stoke City, West Ham
Percentage chance he moves in January: 50%


5) David Luiz (Chelsea)

The Brazilian center back is totally out of favor at Stamford Bridge after falling out with Antonio Conte. The Italian coach has said Luiz can leave in January if a replacement is found, which could slow things down considerably, but in a World Cup year Luiz will want to be playing regularly to seal his place in the Seleceao squad. Arsenal have been suggested as a possible destination, while Newcastle were rumored to be interested in taking him on loan. A move overseas to Spain or Italy may be Luiz’s best hope of securing regular action.
Age: 30
Price: $35 million (or a loan deal)
Interested clubs: Arsenal, Real Madrid
Percentage chance he moves in January: 80%


6) Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)

Another player who has been told he can leave Chelsea if another attacking option arrives. With Ross Barkley coming in, it seems like Batshuayi could move on as Conte prefers to play with  Hazard up front and wingers Pedro and Willian if Morata is out injured. The writing has been on the wall for Batsuayi for a very long time and he carved out a “super sub” role for himself last season. Chelsea will do well to get the $42 million back they spent on Batshuayi in the summer of 2016, so maybe a loan deal suits everyone best.
Age: 24
Price: $35 million (or on loan)
Interested clubs: West Brom, West Ham
Percentage chance he moves in January: 70%


7) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man United)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has fallen totally out of favor with Jose Mourinho this season and his Old Trafford career seems all but over. Mkhitaryan took time to settle last season when he first arrived from Dortmund as the reigning Bundesliga player of the year, but finished the campaign strongly and looked to be an integral part of Mourinho’s plans in 2017-18. Not so much. A return to Dortmund seemed likely, and Italian giants Inter Milan are also said to be interested, but Mkhitaryan’s big wages could be the stumbling block. He should leave but maybe he won’t be able to.
Age: 28
Price: $35 million
Interested clubs: Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan
Percentage chance he moves in January: 50%


8) Troy Deeney (Watford)

Troy Deeney’s future at Watford appears over with the club captain barely used by Marco Silva this season since he arrived as manager. Deeney has proved he can score regularly in the PL but with Silva going for a younger, quicker forward line for the Hornets, his bullish style of play doesn’t fit into their philosophy. Deeney would offer Newcastle something they don’t have as a true center forward who can hold up the ball.
Age: 29
Price: $10-15 million
Interested clubs: Newcastle United
Percentage chance he moves in January: 65%


9) Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

Despite Arsene Wenger saying he is not available in January, Giroud will want to play regularly somewhere to boost his chances of starting for France at the World Cup this summer. He turned down a move to Everton in the summer who have now made a move for Cenk Tosun, while Giroud is said to be interesting AC Milan and Fenerbache. At 31 he’s no spring chicken but Giroud has scored four times off the bench in the PL this season and has played a leading role in their Europa League and League Cup runs. He deserves to be a starter somewhere and Wenger will let him go if the French striker insists.
Age: 31
Price: $25-30 million
Interested clubs: Fenerbache, AC Milan
Percentage chance he moves in January: 60%


10) Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

It seemed likely Mahrez would leave in the summer but Roma didn’t up their offer and he remained with the Foxes. Since bleaching his hair, and since Claude Puel arrived as manager, Mahrez has been sensational with seven goals in the PL this season and two goals and three assists in his last four games. Chelsea and Liverpool are said to be most interested in Mahrez during this window and it is widely believed Leicester have said the Algerian winger can leave if someone meets their asking price of $54 million.
Age: 26
Price: $54 million
Interested clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Roma
Percentage chance he moves in January: 60%


Brazil tests Willian up front with Neymar and Jesus

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TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) Brazil’s second pre-World Cup training featured Willian in the attack with Neymar and Gabriel Jesus on Thursday, a hint that coach Tite might change his starting lineup.

Willian played with the two star strikers for about one hour in the first training with footballs at the Granja Comary ground in Teresopolis, outside Rio de Janeiro.

[ MORE: Commisso “hopeful” of $500m USSF deal ]

Tite did not use his starting midfield to play with the trio. He also used defenders Marquinhos and Miranda during the entire hour, suggesting former captain Thiago Silva will be on the bench for the moment.

If Willian is brought on to the team, Tite could remove midfielder Renato Augusto from the starting lineup, put Philippe Coutinho in his place, and open a gap for Willian.

Since last year, Tite has said he needs a “pacemaker,” and considers Coutinho one of his main options for the role.

Beijing Guoan’s Augusto is under pressure after unconvincing performances in Brazil’s midfield.

Augusto’s spot is also eyed by Fred, one of the surprises of Tite’s squad.

The midfielder said he admired Brazil players who began a World Cup on the bench and later became starters, such as Mazinho (1994) and Kleberson (2002).

“We can get inspiration from them, these players worked very hard to get their spot,” Fred said. “But if I have to be out I will keep working hard.”

Fred also said he was torn between a transfer to Manchester United or Manchester City.

Fred said he had an offer from City in January, and both were now talking to his Shakhtar Donetsk club about a transfer.

“Maybe after the World Cup I will make the choice,” the midfielder said. “Now I am only thinking about the World Cup.”

Fred said he believes his future is outside Ukraine, and doing well in the English Premier League like other Brazilians such as Chelsea’s Willian.

Tite is counting on only 18 of the 23 players in his squad at training in Teresopolis.

Winger Douglas Costa and Fagner are still recovering from injury.

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Real Madrid’s Casemiro and Marcelo will only join on Monday after the Champions League final.

Training on Thursday was attended by four-time World Cup winner Mario Zagallo.

Liverpool owner Henry reflects on history, takes shots at Suarez, Coutinho

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Terrific AP reporter Rob Harris sat down for a chat with Liverpool owner John Henry, and the American businessman didn’t hesitate to unleash some prime quotes.

Liverpool, of course, is preparing for the weekend’s UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and feeling its oats a bit.

[ MORE: Ronaldinho marrying 2 women ]

Henry is no exception, saying of departed Reds stars Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, “They’ll be watching this weekend and could have been playing.”

And his shots didn’t stop with the Barcelona stars. He extended it to all of La Liga. From the AP:

“You don’t want to be in the position where players want to go somewhere else, even if it is a great club like Barcelona,” Henry said. “It’s hard to understand why players would want to go to a league where the competition is so weak. They must play 30 or so meaningless matches per year waiting for Champions League matches.”

Henry also talks about his takeover, selling Fernando Torres, and how Anfield pushes Liverpool past the competition. Read the whole interview here.

Ronaldinho reportedly marrying two women at same time

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Ronaldinho always had a knack for making the difficult look simple.

He’d better hope that skill extends to a pretty unique marital arrangement.

The retired 2002 World Cup champion is going to marry two women at the same time, Priscilla Coelho and Beatriz Souza, in August.

[ MORE: Commisso “hopeful” of $500m USSF deal ]

Apparently he’s been living with the pair since December, having dated Coelho since 2013 and Souza beginning in 2016.

Ronaldinho, 38, co-existed in a three-pronged offense with Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o, so maybe?

From Yahoo! Sports:

Bigamy and polygamy are illegal in Brazil, but Ronaldinho’s case is a little different. He’s not planning to marry one woman, and then the other; he’s planning to marry both at the same time. That’s considered a three-person civil union, and they do exist in Brazil. The first one, between two women and a man, was recognized in 2012. Another was recognized in 2015, between three women who intended to raise a child together.

After saving German club, Green hopes to revive USMNT career

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Julian Green has been the Halley’s Comet of the U.S. national team. He appeared out of nowhere for the 2014 World Cup, scored against Belgium and then pretty much disappeared.

After scoring the goal that saved a German club from relegation to the third division, he’s back with a young American group that has no World Cup to prepare for. And he’s still only 22.

[ MORE: Commisso “hopeful” of $500m USSF deal ]

“It made me much stronger. I’m a different person now. I’m a better player now,” he said Thursday ahead of next week’s exhibition against Bolivia.

Born in Tampa, Florida, Green was 2 when he moved to Germany with his older brother Justin and his German-born mother.

A member of Bayern Munich’s youth system, he was not part of the U.S. pool that qualified for the 2014 World Cup. The winger played for Germany in three qualifiers for the 2014 European Under-19 Championship, then switched to the Americans at the behest of U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

He was a surprise pick on the U.S. roster four years ago this week, seemingly to displace Landon Donovan. At 19 the third-youngest player in the World Cup, Green scored in the Americans’ extra-time loss in the round of 16, two minutes after entering. He left Brazil on the list of potential breakout players for the next four-year cycle.

That potential has not yet been fulfilled.

While he played in exhibitions later that year against the Czech Republic and Colombia, his career stalled for club and country. Green was bypassed for the 2015 and 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 2016 Copa America. His only U.S. appearances were in three friendlies in 2016.

[ MORE: Next USMNT-Mexico date set ]

After Bruce Arena replaced Klinsmann that fall, Green was never brought back. Until now.

“I’m curious just to hear his side of things and see where he’s at,” said interim coach Dave Sarachan, who took over after the U.S. was eliminated with last October’s loss to Trinidad and Tobago.

Green joined Bayern at age 14 and made his first-team debut on Nov. 27, 2013, late in a Champions League match against CSKA Moscow. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said he expected to keep Green for 2014-15, then reversed course and loaned him to Hamburg. Green made it into just five Bundesliga games that season,

“The coach that wanted me, he gets fired after one week,” Green said. “That was a hard time.”

Green returned to Bayern for 2016-17, and his playing time under coach Carlo Ancelotti was limited to a pair of German Cup matches. He transferred to second-tier Stuttgart in January, had one goal in 10 league games, then was loaned to second-division Greuther Fuerth for 2017-18.

His played regularly, and his career started to revive. On May 13 he scored on a right-footed shot from about 23 yards in a 1-1 draw against Heidenheim, preventing Greuther Fuerth from getting demoted to Germany’s third tier.

“One of the best seasons for me personally,” he said.

He understands why he couldn’t get playing time at Bayern, one of the world’s top clubs.

“At each position there were like three top stars,” he said.

Green started to play a more central role this season, one that could have more of an impact on his team.

“Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola, they always told me my best position is in the middle,” Green said. “The first games at Fuerth I started out wide, and then the last games I started in the middle. And for me personally, I think in the middle is a better position.”

Green’s contract with Stuttgart runs through 2018-19, and he’s not sure which club he’ll be with next season. He knows he can’t afford to disappear from the thoughts of coaches on both sides of the Atlantic.

“To his credit, he’s only 22 years old and he’s back here, and he did it by playing his way back in,” U.S. assistant coach John Hackworth said.

If Green becomes a first-division regular, he could become part of the American nucleus for the 2022 World Cup cycle, a roster led by Christian Pulisic that also could include midfielders Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, and defender Matt Miazga. Among that quartet, Green is the oldest. He has three goals in eight U.S. appearances and is the only player on this week’s roster with World Cup experience.

“I’d like to see his personality sort of emerge,” Sarachan said. “He’s a quiet kid.”

Green had a hard time believing the U.S. failed to qualify for next month’s World Cup. Given the time difference, he didn’t stay up to watch the match in Trinidad. He figured he’d find out happy news in the morning.

“I took a look at my phone: I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I thought it was a joke.”

Notes: The U.S. will play Mexico in an exhibition on Sept. 11 at Nashville, Tennessee, the second of what likely will be two home matches during the international fixture period.