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Reports: Chelsea teen Hudson-Odoi appears close to Bayern move

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According to multiple reports, most notably from Sky Germany, Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi looks more and more likely to leave Stamford Bridge this January.

The 18-year-old has impressed highly but has managed just one Premier League appearance under Maurizio Sarri this season. With his contract expiring in July of 2020, the Blues have tried desperately to tie him down long-term, reportedly offering him a five-year contract this summer. However, Hudson-Odoi reportedly held off on signing the extension until he saw how much playing time he would receive under new manager Sarri, and with that number quite paltry so far, he is more motivated than ever to depart.

[ MORE: Thursday Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

Sky Germany reports that Bayern Munich has made three approaches for Hudson-Odoi since late December, and the latest of $37.5 million has finally piqued Chelsea’s interest, forced in part by Hudson-Odoi asking the club to let him leave. English publication The Guardian has backed up that report, confirming Bayern has seen a pair of bids already rejected. The total would leave CHO as the most expensive English teenager ever.

With Bayern desperately looking for a long-term replacement to one or both of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery – the duo sits at 34 and 35 years old respectively – this seems the perfect opportunity to bring in a valuable squad option at a relatively cheap price.

Other reports in the English tabloids suggest that while Chelsea initially pushed for a buy-back clause, Bayern rejected that notion and instead agreed to a sell-on clause, allowing Chelsea a cut of any potential profits should Bayern sell Hudson-Odoi in the future.

Hudson-Odoi has found himself among a crowded winger situation at Chelsea, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, and Pedro keeping him out of the lineup at the moment and the confirmation of Christian Pulisic’s expensive arrival next season another road block to time on the field. It has even seen Victor Moses pushed out, with just two Premier League appearances to his name.

Chelsea can not boast the most stellar record of selling young players, missing out on the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, and Mohamed Salah after allowing them to leave at young ages, and that could be the case again here with Sarri unable to make room in the squad to keep the teenager happy.

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

“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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