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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal interest in Navas; Drinkwater to leave?

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Unai Emery is reportedly in the market for more than just a centerback in January.

According to El Confidencial in Spain, Emery is interested in signing Real Madrid goalkeeper Kaylor Navas. The veteran Costa Rica international starred for Real Madrid in their three UEFA Champions League titles in as many years and yet, he’s found himself second-choice this season behind former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The report states that Real Madrid would let Navas leave for around $16 million, a bargain considering his experience and talent. The report then goes on to say Real Madrid would invest that money in signing Brahim Diaz, a reserve at Manchester City who hasn’t made it into Pep Guardiola‘s first team plans.

The idea of signing Navas for Arsenal is a bit of a head-scratcher. While he’s clearly a talented goalkeeper, it would be surprising for Emery to have moved on from two international-caliber goalkeepers in the span of six months. Petr Cech started the season but after a few errors, Bernd Leno, signed last June from Bayer Leverkusen took over. Leno has had some mistakes in the past few games, but most managers would back their goalkeepers to overcome the errors.

If the reports are true, Emery apparently believes he needs a fresh pair of hands in net.

Here are some more transfer stories around the Premier League:


Drinkwater’s future in his hands – Sarri

Maurizio Sarri all but said that Danny Drinkwater is free to leave Chelsea less than two years after joining the club (under Antonio Conte) for around $45 million.

Drinkwater hasn’t played a single minute in the Premier League this season, as Sarri explained, mainly because he doesn’t fit in the Italian manager’s system. When asked whether Drinkwater could leave for another club in January, Sarri said it was “up to the club” and up to Drinkwater to figure out.

“I think for him the problem is only my football,” Sarri said at a press conference. “He’s a very good midfielder but he is suitable for a midfield two because with a three he is not really a central midfielder or suitable for center right or center left.”

For a time, especially alongside N'Golo Kante, Drinkwater was part of one of the most successful midfields in Europe, as referenced by the stat below. Which ever club gets Drinkwater will still be getting a talented holding midfielder in his prime.


Liverpool, Bayern Munich after RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner

With Roberto Firmino sometimes injury prone and Divock Origi still coming back from injury and form issues of his own in the Premier League, it’s no secret that Liverpool could add a third striker.

According to German publication Bild, one of the strikers on Liverpool (and Bayern Munich’s radar) is RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner. The young German has been a revelation the last three seasons in the Bundesliga, scoring 44 goals so far and earning his way into the German National Team. After Wednesday’s defeat at Bayern, Werner hinted that he would be interested in a move south to the German giants, although it’s reportedly a movethat the RB Leipzig brass will try to hold off on.

If Liverpool can beat Bayern to a German striker, it would be a huge feat. It would also allow Jurgen Klopp to spell Firmino from time to time to keep him fresh for upcoming UEFA Champions League matches.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

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How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.