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Transfer Deadline Day Live Blog — As It Happened

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Once a non-event, the January transfer window has become busier and busier as the teams of the Premier League deem improving their lot for the second half of the season almost as important as the first.

Makes sense, right?

[ MORE: Earlier done deals ]

We’re monitoring things at Chelsea and Newcastle amongst other venues before the window slams shut at 6 p.m. ET.

Be sure to follow the Sky Sports deadline show on NBCSN until 5 p.m. ET before the NBC Sports Soccer crew picks up for three more hours of dynamite coverage.

So here we go.


6:21 p.m. ET — Yannick Bolasie is leaving Everton on loan to Anderlecht for the rest of the season after cutting a loan with Aston Villa short.


6 p.m. ET — The window is closed, but that just means deal sheets had to be submitted to the Premier League. Stay tuned for further announcements.


5:56 p.m. ET — Celtic have pushed another deal over the line in its bid to hold off Rangers and Aberdeen and win another Scottish Premiership title.

Jeremy Toljan will join the Bhoys from Borussia Dortmund on loan, having struggled to get playing time on the Bundesliga leaders.


5:52 p.m. ET — A couple late deals coming through for peripheral PL players.

Everton’s Beni Baningime will go on loan to Wigan Athletic, having seen his playing time pretty much disappear after Sam Allardyce left Goodison Park.

And long time Leicester City man Andy King is leaving the King Power Stadium to join Derby County for the rest of the season.


5:38 p.m. ET — A bit slower now with 22 minutes to go in the window. Of course, moves can be announced after 6 p.m. ET but there is paperwork to be filed…

Will Michy Batshuayi finish his move to Palace? Jacob Murphy to West Brom?


5:11 p.m. ET — A report out of Italy has a couple of eye-popping notes.

DC United has reportedly turned down almost $12 million from Paris Saint-Germain for Luciano Acosta, hoping to get closer to $14m for the 24-year-old former Boca Juniors man.

Acosta does not hold an international roster spot for DC, who saw the playmaker team up with Wayne Rooney to push the Black-and-Red up the Eastern Conference table last season.

Acosta has 19 goals and 27 assists in 103 appearances for DC, and would help PSG plug the hole opened by Neymar’s 10-week layoff.


5:03 p.m. ET — The BBC is reporting that Fulham has landed former West Ham midfielder/defender Havard Nordtveit.

The Norwegian will arrive on loan from Hoffenheim. The 28-year-old has mostly played center back in 11 matches between the Bundesliga and Champions League this season.

Fulham also sold combustible striker Aboubakar Kamara to Malatyaspor.


4:35 p.m. ET — Woah. Michy Batshuayi has apparently reached terms with Crystal Palace in the hopes of a permanent deal.

UPDATE: Sky reports that Palace CEO Steve Parrish says the deal is ON.

The big Belgian striker, 25, would take more attention off of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, and hopefully feed off the crosses of the latter, Patrick Van Aanholt, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

This could be a big, big deal and a stunner of a lower-half signing.


4:32 p.m. ET — Our noted KC writer Andy Edwards has thoughts on an exciting report that longtime USMNT prospect Gedion Zelalem may move from Arsenal to Major League Soccer.

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes has a knack for developing young talents, so it’ll be interesting to see whether this is a loan or a permanent deal (should it happen).


4:30 p.m. ET — A note from Major League Soccer, where Toronto FC is ready to splash some cash to replace outgoing megastar Sebastian Giovinco.

Remember, their last few Designated Players include Giovinco, Jermain Defoe, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley…


4:22 p.m. ET — Everton’s potential sale of Idrissa Gana Gueye of Paris Saint-Germain has been quiet, but Sky Sports has broken into their coverage to say that Gana is now the subject of a $34 million bid.

The Toffees still do not plan on selling the industrious center midfielder, but he’s also 29 years old and the Toffees are neither in danger of being relegated nor finding their footing as a European club.


4:07 p.m. ET — Michy Batshuayi is one of the topics of conversation, as the Belgian striker looks to find regular playing time away from Chelsea.

Batshuayi, 25, tore up the Bundesliga on loan at Borussia Dortmund last season, but could not find the back of the goal often in a half-season at Valencia.

He’s been linked with moves to Real Betis, West Ham United, and — most unlikely — Spurs, but his wages are reportedly holding up the deal. Speaking on Sky Sports’ transfer deadline show, Sam Allardyce unsurprisingly said West Ham would be the best place for him.


3:49 p.m. ET — Some Americans in Scotland (and America) news.

A pair of players have signed with Celtic, though neither will spend the rest of this season with Brendan Rodgers‘ men.

It looks like MAC Hermann Trophy winner Andrew Gutman was not able to get the proper papers to activate his time at Celtic, as the Indiana University left back and USMNT hopeful has been sent on loan to Nashville SC.

Also signing leaving Celtic on loan is NC State’s Manny Perez, who is off on loan to North Carolina FC.

And there’s a Yank making a move to the Scottish Championship, as 23-year-old Evansville product Ian McGrath makes the move from Nashville SC to Queen of the South.


3:18 p.m. ET — It’s a loan swap deal, but the big piece moving between Monaco and Leicester City is versatile and dangerous Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans.

The 21-year-old has five goals and an assist in Ligue 1 play, and operates in the center of the park.

Going back the other way is Adrien Silva, 29, who just hasn’t settled at Leicester following a paperwork snafu at the start of the 2017-18 season.


3 p.m. ET — A move from MLS to a top European team, but it’s more for the future.

Real Salt Lake’s Taylor Booth is on the move to Bayern Munich. The U.S. U-19 midfielder, 17, joins FC Dallas youngster Chris Richards and Vancouver Whitecaps star Alphonso Davies at the Allianz Arena.

More info: Here.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN today from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

FIFA propose salary cap, transfer fee talks

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed talks with leagues across the globe about potentially implementing a salary cap and limits on transfer fees as the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The leader of soccer’s world-governing body released a lengthy video statement Saturday, in which he also asked league associations to work together to find the best solutions for the club and international calendar moving forward.

Last week he said FIFA wanted a ‘common sense’ approach to players who are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and that players showing messages of support should be ‘applauded and not punished’ despite FIFA’s previously strict rules around players sharing political, religious or personal messages during games.

FIFA are working on a financial package which they hope to discuss with members and finalize in their next council meeting later this month but recent talks with associations across the globe have suggested a salary cap or transfer fees limit could work.

Here is what the FIFA chief had to say specifically when it comes to soccer adapting to the changing financial environment.

“On the financial and governance aspects, I also heard some interesting proposals on a wide range of topics,” Infantino said. “From salary caps to transfer-fee caps or other taxation mechanisms, to the possible obligation for governing bodies, competition organisers and clubs to build reserves or to contribute to a reserve fund which can be of assistance in hours of need such as now.

“I personally advocate for clearer and stricter financial regulations, imposing full transparency and good governance principles, and not only limiting this to the transfer system, but to the entire football ecosystem. FIFA is doing already a lot of work on this area, even if we face some strong vested interests who fight against our plea for a better global governance in our sport.

“Dear friends, we will need your full support and commitment to move to the next level of good governance in football globally. I think that these and other measures, projects and ideas should be discussed at all levels. I know that this is something that will spark intense debate, but debate is healthy, and we should speak about it all together – as we stand together during this difficult period.”

Quite how a salary cap or a limit on transfer fees would work remain to be seen but given the huge financial burden places on clubs during the coronavirus pandemic, it is a very plausible solution to help stop clubs from going out of business.

With governing bodies such as UEFA placing strict financial fair play rules on clubs to stop them from spending beyond their means, FIFA doing something similar would be possible.

Would clubs, leagues and associations sign up for these new rules? In the short-term, probably. Long-term, it would be tough. Nobody knows how long sports, and society, will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and even if a vaccine is found and fans can return to stadiums and things go back to relative normality, the financial implications of the past four to five months is likely to be felt for years to come.

The salary cap system will not work for every league or even every region but as we’ve seen in Major League Soccer, it can bring stability and certain leagues need that across the globe.

Premier League confirm zero positive COVID-19 test results

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Following the latest batch of tests on players and club staff the Premier League have revealed that there were zero positive results out of 1,195 COVID-19 tests taken on Thursday June 4 and Friday June 5.

The last three rounds of testing has now seen one positive result as Tottenham Hotspur confirmed the individual that tested positive earlier week was one of their players or staff.

With the sixth round of testing now completed in the Premier League, a total of 6,274 COVID-19 tests have now been carried out with 13 positive results.

All players and staff at Premier League clubs will be tested twice a week during the strict return to training protocols put in place, as full contact training is now up and running and a restart date of June 17 has been set.

Here is the statement from the Premier League in full on the latest result:


The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 4 June and Friday 5 June, 1,195 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive.

The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.

Round 1: 17-18 May – 748 tested, with six testing positive from three clubs.
Round 2: 19-22 May – 996 tested, with two testing positive from two clubs.
Round 3: 25-26 May – 1,008 tested, with four testing positive from two clubs.
Round 4: 28-29 May – 1,130 tested, with zero testing positive.
Round 5: 1-2 June – 1,197 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 6: 4-5 June – 1,195 tested, with zero testing positive


Watford season restart preview

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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they are at ahead of the final nine weeks of the season as Watford are up next.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Focusing on Nigel Pearson’s Watford, they have battled back from an awful first half of the season (which included having three different managers) to drag themselves out of the relegation zone as things stand. However, there is plenty of hard work ahead for the Hornets as they try to preserve their Premier League status.

[ MORE: Every PL season restart preview ] 

Let’s take a closer look at all things Watford when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: Watford were rock bottom and looked doomed heading into December but the turnaround since Nigel Pearson arrived has been remarkable. They won once in their opening 17 Premier League games of the season as first Javi Gracia then Quique Sanchez Flores were sacked, and Nigel Pearson arrived to bring organization and defensive stability. He has done more than that as home wins over Man United, Aston Villa, Wolves and Liverpool has breathed new life into their season. Now, Watford are still only out of the relegation zone on goal difference (one goal, to be exact) and if Aston Villa win their game in-hand they are back in the bottom three. That said, any Watford fan would have bitten your hand off in December had you offered them this scenario heading into the final nine games of the season. Their home form should see them over the line but there are plenty of tetchy games coming up between now and late July for Watford. If Troy Deeney can return to training and action, that will be a big boost, but losing Gerard Deulofeu to a serious knee injury just before the suspension was a cruel blow as he’d been the catalyst to turn their season around.


Tactical analysis: There’s no doubt Watford have the talent to be further up the table, just as it showed last season when they were battling in the top half for most of the campaign (before their famed second half of the season slump hit) and reached the FA Cup final. Putting players in the right positions is key and Abdoulaye Doucure has been vital to their turnaround in form. His surging runs from midfield were not impacting play enough earlier this season but Pearson has moved him into almost a No.10 role and he’s flourished. With Etienne Capoue and Will Hughes in deeper central midfield roles behind Doucoure, they have found the right balance in the engine room. The French midfielder causes havoc and has defenses dropping off, which allows the wingers and forwards around him to find space. Defensively, Ben Foster has been great all season in goal and Pearson is very good in setting up his teams to be tough to break down in two solid blocks and then lethal on the counter. Ismaila Sarr has settled down in his first season in the Premier League (Liverpool know all about that) and he will have a big say in their battle against the drop as he will cut in from the right flank. Watford are now sturdy and if Andre Gray can hold the ball up in Deeney’s absence, Sarr and Doucoure will give him plenty of support in attack.


Possible XI (4-2-3-1) 

—– Foster —–

— Feminia — Cathcart — Kabasele — Masina —

—- Capoue —- Hughes —- 

— Sarr — Doucoure — Pereyra —

—– Deeney —–


Remaining schedule:
Home: Leicester, Southampton, Norwich, Newcastle, Man City
Away: Burnley, Chelsea, West Ham, Arsenal

Predicted finish: They don’t have the easiest run-in but given the fact they’ve beaten Man United and Liverpool, we know this Watford side under Pearson has a shock up their sleeve. Wins against relegation rivals Norwich and West Ham will be key and they will likely need two more wins from their other seven games to have a chance. That is doable and I think with Bournemouth and Aston Villa having a very tough run-in, Watford will just stay up. Just. No matter what happens, Pearson has done a fine job to organize them and he is a master at orchestrating great escapes against relegation.

Dortmund beat Hertha on day of Bundesliga protests (video)

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Borussia Dortmund beat Hertha Berlin 1-0 in a hard-fought encounter at the Westfalenstadion, as Saturday saw Black Lives Matter protests and messages of support take place across the Bundesliga in Germany.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule

Dortmund and Hertha led the protests, as players and staff from both teams knelt as one before kick off to show support for the movement sweeping across the USA, Europe and now the world.

After Bayern Munich’s players wore armbands which read ‘Black Lives Matter’ and had warm-up shirts which called for an end to racism, while Dortmund had warm-up shirts on which read ‘No Justice, No Peace’ among other messages of support after widespread protests in the USA.

As for the action once the game started at Dortmund, Jadon Sancho (who last weekend paid tribute to George Floyd) went close on several occasions throughout but a battling and in-form Hertha came close to taking a shock lead in the second half but Alexander Esswein dragged his shot inches wide.

Moments later Dortmund finally broke through as Sancho clipped the ball into Julian Brandt who nodded down for Emre Can to calmly slot home and seal all three points.

The victory means Dortmund are steady in second place but are seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich with four games remaining. Hertha lost for the first time since the restart but remain well in the hunt for Europa League qualification.

Below are videos of the protests from both clubs, plus the game-winner for Can which just about keeps Dortmund in the title race.