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Mix Diskerud joins Manchester City on a free

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Sportswear giant Umbro was first to the draw, announcing that Mix Diskerud was joining Premier League leaders Manchester City on a 4-1/2 year deal.

There was some initial confusion, but more legitimate reports – including ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle – are confirming that the former NYCFC midfielder will indeed join Man City, but is not likely to remain there for long. NBC Sports can confirm this report.

Diskerud has indeed signed on with Pep Guardiola‘s side, but he will not train with the first team, and City will be looking to loan him out or sell him outright. The signing is savvy business by City, as he joins on a free transfer with his NYCFC contract terminated.

The signing seems to signal a clear strategy by Manchester City, given the similarities to the Aaron Mooy signing and subsequent sale last season. The Australian midfielder played for Manchester City affiliate Melbourne City, and signed for the Premier League side for free before being immediately loaned to then-Championship club Huddersfield Town. Mooy played well to help the Terriers earn promotion, and eventually netted Man City $10 million on a permanent transfer.

The 27-year-old lost his starting place in the NYCFC midfield last season under Patrick Viera, making just 16 MLS appearances, 9 of those starts, and all coming before June 4th. He then went on loan to Swedish side IFK Goteborg, where he has been since December.

Diskerud will likely now use Manchester City to return to full match fitness and find another club. The move signals an appreciation by City Football Group for what Diskerud gave to NYCFC on and off the pitch, and his positive personality despite losing his place in the team. The signing is likely nothing more than a goodwill gesture to help him earn a new club, but never say never!

Diskerud was voted the most overrated player in Major League Soccer in an anonymous player poll conducted by ESPN before the 2016 season. He has made 38 appearances for the US National Team, making his debut under Bob Bradley but given a regular spot by Jurgen Klinsmann. He has not appeared for the USMNT since March of 2016, not even called in since Klinsmann was fired.

Breaking: Unai Emery to take manager role at Arsenal

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Arsenal has found its next manager, and it isn’t Mikel Arteta, despite the former player’s strong links to the club.

BBC Sport has reported that former Paris Saint Germain manager Unai Emery will be named the club’s next manager as a successor to legendary coach Arsene Wenger, who recently stepped down from his post.

Emery served two seasons at the helm for PSG, after making a name for himself at Sevilla previously with three consecutive UEFA Europa League titles (2014-2016).

More to follow…

Transfer rumors: Willian, Alderweireld to Manchester United

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The transfer rumor mill is picking up steam this Monday, including some persistent whispers regarding two Premier League players with possible futures at Old Trafford.

Both of these make a lot of sense.

[ MORE: Nashville hires ex-Liverpool CEO ]

A day after Nemanja Matic stressed the need for experienced players at United, two good fits hit the rumor mill (again).

Matic’s old Chelsea pal Willian has interest from United if he seeks a way out of London — which seems likely — where he’s said to be ready to go if Antonio Conte remains as manager.

Then there’s Toby Alderweireld, whose been very strong at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur but reportedly fallen out with current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

During a rut, the Tottenham manager claimed that Alderweireld was held out of Spurs’ lineup due to the form of the players in front of him.

Also from Sky, we’ll leave this quote from PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi on the idea of possibly selling Kylian Mbappe.

Al-Khelaifi told Canal+: “You want me to give you a number? More than €1bn! Yes, I said one billion! And even if you gave me a billion, I wouldn’t sell him.”

Pogba: Mourinho “made me progress in leadership”

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Paul Pogba says “we are never sure of anything but contractually, it’s sure” that he’ll remain at Manchester United.

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement from United’s most expensive transfer purchase, as many have linked him with a move away from Old Trafford.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

He also said he’s not worried about his relationship with United boss Jose Mourinho, and pointed out that his problems and growth in Manchester are a natural part of a player’s progression. From Sky Sports:

“There were times where I wasn’t playing, I was on the bench. There was a lot of talk, people thought it wasn’t working out,” Pogba added.

“But a coach and a player don’t have to be best friends, we don’t have to go to restaurants together. I had a few little problems too… football is sometimes all about the mental side. He put me on the bench and I gave my response on the pitch. I always give everything I’ve got.

“He made me progress in leadership. I had the armband with Mourinho, it was the first time in a club, it’s important for me, it makes me grow to be also a leader in the France team.”

In a candid talk, the 25-year-old Pogba was asked about Paris Saint-Germain and told French television that he’d be open to representing the club in the future despite the fact that his parents are Marseille supporters.

Moore takes hold of West Brom’s promotion bid

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Darren Moore‘s spell as West Brom caretaker manager couldn’t quite pull off a miraculous run to Premier League safety, but the promise it contained has helped him to the first chance at earning promotion back to the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion announced Moore as its new manager on Monday, with the boss promising his Baggies would play attractive football while also being a side “that’s willing to fight and scrap for every ball.”

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Moore is also happy to carry a flame for minority coaches — called BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) — in England.

“If it does inspire others, I would be extremely proud,” he said. “I don’t just speak on behalf of BAME coaches but the young, aspiring British coaches across the board.”

Moore, 44, only lost one of his six PL matches as WBA boss, winning three times and inspiring many to wonder what would’ve happened had the Baggies’ pulled the plug on Alan Pardew — and Tony Pulis before him — earlier.

A center back in his playing career, Moore spent 18 seasons between a number of clubs including West Brom, Derby County, and Doncaster Rovers. He won promotion as a player twice with West Brom, and again with Derby.