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Transfer rumor roundup: January window opens Tuesday

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We’re less than 48 hours from the end of the 2018 calendar year, which means we’re less than 48 hours from the start of the January transfer window, which means the tidal wave of transfer rumors is already washing over the Premier League.

[ MORE: What are the obstacles on Liverpool’s path to PL title? ]

As ever, PST will provide a daily roundup of the most relevant — and realistic, hopefully — rumors over the next month…

Christian Pulisic is going to Chelsea. Or Arsenal. Or Liverpool.

Everybody (reportedly) would take the U.S. men’s national team star on a bargain deal, but Borussia Dortmund are most likely to hold onto the 20-year-old until the summer transfer window, when they can pit two or three bidders against one another and drive up the price.

Alas, that won’t so much as slow down the rumors about Pulisic’s immediate future over the next 33 days. The bidding is expected to being at $50 million.


On the other side of the bitter U.S.-Mexico rivalry, Hirving Lozano appears destined for a move away from PSV Eindhoven as he pieces together a second straight season of prolific goal-scoring (34 in 61 games – all competitions) for the Eredivisie side. The only question which remains is whether or not he will move in January or in the summer.

With PSV out of the Champions League — and Europa League due to finishing fourth in their group — Lozano is now marginally more likely to depart the defending Dutch champions in the coming weeks. According to the Express, the 23-year-old has been selected as one of Maurizio Sarri‘s top targets at Chelsea. Given that Lozano comes from a “lesser” league than the Bundesliga, he’ll likely be the cheaper option between himself and Pulisic.


Adrien Rabiot has been on his way out of Paris Saint-Germain for, seemingly, two years. With his contract set to expire in the summer, it would behoove everyone involved for the 23-year-old to move in January, for a heavily discounted fee.

Barcelona had reportedly agreed terms of a contract with the French international, but the club has since come out and denied those reports. The club’s statement confirmed an approach to PSG in August and “a week ago” while insisting they have had no contact with the player or his representatives. Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal — as clubs with varying needs for midfield reinforcements — have also been named as potential landing spots.


Dominic Solanke has failed to make a single appearance for Liverpool this season, thus the 21-year-old forward is widely expected to accept a loan move for the remainder of the season. For the sake of both Solanke and his soon-to-be club, sooner is better.

Crystal Palace were the first ones to make an official offer, according to the Daily Mail, and Solanke is expected to make a decision sometime in the next 48 hours, in order to maximize the number of games for which he’s available. Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town are also expected to make a play for Solanke.


  • Manchester City midfielder Brahim Diaz will reportedly move to Real Madrid for a fee of just over $17 million. The 19-year-old has sparsely seen first-team minutes at the Etihad Stadium and is thought to be a central piece of the ongoing rebuild in the Spanish capital.
  • Manchester United midfielder Andres Pereira’s desire to leave the club is strong given his lack of first-team minutes. The 22-year-old has been linked with a January move to a trio of PL clubs — Arsenal, Everton and West Ham United — according to Portuguese publication UOL Sports.

FOLLOW LIVE: Southampton v. Derby County

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Southampton and Derby County chase the final spot in the fourth round proper of the 2018-19 FA Cup with a replay at St. Mary’s on Wednesday.

[ FOLLOW: FA Cup scoreboard ]

The clubs drew 2-2 at Pride Park on Jan. 5, with a Nathan Redmond 2-0 lead going to waste for the Premier League visitors.

The victor gets a trip to the Crown Ground to face League One’s Accrington Stanley on Jan. 26.

Full fourth round fixture list

Jan. 25
Arsenal v. Manchester United

Jan. 26
Accrington Stanley v. Derby County or Southampton
Brighton and Hove Albion v. West Bromwich Albion
Bristol City v. Bolton
Doncaster Rovers v. Oldham Athletic
Man City v. Burnley
Middlesbrough v. Newport County
Newcastle United v. Watford
Portsmouth v. Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City v. Gillingham
Shrewsbury Town v. Wolves
Millwall v. Everton
AFC Wimbledon v. West Ham United

Jan. 27
Crystal Palace v. Spurs
Chelsea v. Sheffield Wednesday

Jan. 28
Barnet v. Brentford

Leeds’ Bielsa admits he spied “all the rivals”; How widespread is spying?

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Managerial darling Marcelo Bielsa spoke out Wednesday as fallout continues from a Leeds United scout caught spying on Derby County last week.

Bielsa says he’s spied on every team the club has played in the Championship this season.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

How rare is this? And how big of a role has it played in Leeds’ 4-point lead in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League? From the BBC:

“I observed all the rivals we played against and watched the training sessions of all opponents,” he said. “All the information I need to clarify, I gather it without watching the training session of the opponent, so why did I send someone to watch them? Just because I thought I wasn’t violating the norm. I gathered information that I can obtain in another way.

“We feel guilty if we don’t work enough, it [watching the opponents train] allows us to have less anxiety and in my case I am stupid enough to allow this kind of behavior.”

The 63-year-old Argentine has spent time at Lille, Lazio, Marseille, Athletic Bilbao, and Espanyol in addition to running the national teams of Argentina and Chile.

It does raise the question of how much spying is done in soccer. We know that the NFL’s New England Patriots cheated during a game against the New York Jets and that MLB teams try to steal signals, but sneaking around a training session… is that okay? Should it be?

55-goal Martinez re-ups with Atlanta through 2023

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Josef Martinez has signed a new deal with Atlanta United, with a contract tying him to the club through the 2023 Major League Soccer season.

Martinez, 25, has 55 goals in 61 games for the Five Stripes since arriving from Torino in 2017, a strike rate unlike anything the Venezuelan had been able to do in his career with the Serie A club, Young Boys, or Caracas.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

That development has him happy to lock down a new Designated Player deal in Georgia, one that certainly would raise his transfer value. From AtlUtd.com:

“This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique,” Martinez said. “They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that’s why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I’ve always had. I’ve said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city.”

With neither Newcastle nor Real Betis ready to meet Atlanta’s transfer fee for Miguel Almiron, the Five Stripes are in a bit of a bind with a reported deal for expected DP Pity Martinez despite having the league maximum three DPs in Martinez, Almiron, and Ezequiel Barco. Perhaps the European clubs are trying to force Atlanta’s hand.

Men In Blazers Podcast: De Gea heroics; Liverpool, Man City wins

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Rog and Davo applaud David De Gea‘s goalkeeping heroics in Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham. Plus, wins for Liverpool and City in the title race.

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