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Transfer Rumor Roundup: United nearing Wan-Bissaka capture, way off on Lukaku sale

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Manchester United has understandably been busy this summer, and while they have yet to secure any players officially, they have been linked with countless potential targets. One player the Red Devils have been connected with for weeks is Crystal Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and it appears they are coming ever closer to completing a deal.

The 21-year-old, on duty with the England youth side at the U-21 Euros, is nearing a switch to Old Trafford according to multiple reports in England. The Daily Mail says the two sides have agreed on a deal worth roughly $54 million, significant as just last week there were reports that Crystal Palace had thus far rejected Manchester United’s approach worth $44 million alongside a massive add-on total.

The early elimination of the England U-21 side from the European tournament could see this deal get done sooner than expected, as the youngster will be making his way home earlier than the side had hoped.


While Wan-Bissaka is rumored to be on his way in, Romelu Lukaku is reportedly looking for a way out, although that may have hit a snag as Manchester United is apparently not ready to let the Belgian go for cheap.

According to reports in Italy, talks between Manchester United and Inter regarding Lukaku’s valuation have so far been unproductive, with the Premier League side asking for no less than $97 million while Inter is still a solid $28 million behind that total. With such a gap in price, it’s unlikely anything will get done soon, if at all.

The Italian club is looking to replace Mauro Icardi who is set to leave after a tumultuous season resulted in a breakdown in his relationship with the team. Lukaku has been unsuccessful in recapturing his blistering Everton form at Manchester United and could be the one to replace Icardi at Inter, but with three years left on his Red Devils contract the English side is not forced to let him go for a value below their price tag.

The reports suggest that Inter could include Icardi in a swap deal, but also say that could take some convincing as the Argentinian striker is not currently interested in moving to Old Trafford.


The Serie A striker merry-go-round continues as Lorenzo Insigne could be moving on from Napoli, and while he could potentially serve as an Icardi replacement if a Lukaku deal cannot be struck, but there’s also apparently significant competition from abroad.

Atletico Madrid is hoping to replace Antoine Griezmann with a top-level striker after the Frenchman departed the Spanish side for Barcelona. Insigne, who struggled with injuries and poor form through the second half of last season. According to Italian tabloid Corriere dello Sport, Napoli would be willing to let Insigne leave but not for less than $80 million.

Insigne scored 18 Serie A goals in the 2016/17 campaign for Napoli as the club challenged for the title and finished third, a point back of Roma and five behind Champions Juventus. However, he’s only managed to match that goal total across the next two seasons combined, bagging 10 goals last season and only three from the second week of November on. There are rumblings that Insigne

With rumors of a swoop for either Hirving Lozano or James Rodriguez, Napoli is clearly looking to bolster its attacking depth and Insigne could be a casualty of that transfer activity.


Tottenham Hotspur hasn’t purchased a single player in over a year, but that could be about to change.

While there’s nothing concrete yet from more reliable sources, tabloid reports in England suggest that Spurs is nearing a deal for Leeds United winger Jack Clarke. The Premier League side has been linked with Clarke for months now, and the 18-year-old slowly gained more playing time as the Championship season plodded along.

Now, with Leeds missing out on promotion, it could be time for the 18-year-old to make the jump, as Spurs could be ready to pay $19 million for the York-born winger. With links to Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon over the last few months as well, it’s possible that Mauricio Pochettino could be looking to inject some youth into the side, especially on the flanks.

Report: No money in January for Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho will have to deal with the squad he has for the rest of the season, according to a report the Guardian.

The report states that Tottenham isn’t making any money available for signings in January, meaning that Mourinho won’t have the chance to add to his Spurs squad. Usually, when a new coach comes in, they’re given at least a transfer window to bring in one or two players, especially mid-season, to stabilize the squad.

[READ: Mourinho speaks for the first time as Spurs manager]

It’s certainly an unusual move from Tottenham. It leaves Mourinho in a bad spot in terms of the five first-team players who will be out of contract in June. If any of them, including Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, leave on transfer, perhaps Tottenham can use those funds towards new signings. However, it’s more likely at this point that all five will finish the season at White Hart Lane and leave, setting up a massive summer for Mourinho.

At the same time, Tottenham has shown financial austerity for the past few seasons, as it struggles to pay back the loans it took to renovate its stadium. Pochettino didn’t make a single signing for the entirety of the 2018-2019 season and while the club broke its transfer record to sign Tanguay Ndombele, there wasn’t investment throughout the squad.

Considering Tottenham’s financial behavior, it does question why Mourinho took the job in the first place. But with his reported eight-figure salary, and the chance to work with Harry Kane, Mourinho may have decided it’s worth it, even if he can’t sign his players and mold the squad in the way he wants.

Looking Ahead: Mourinho’s first 10 games

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Tottenham’s stunning week continued on Wednesday with the appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager.

Taking in his first day of training, Mourinho can now get to grips with not only his squad, but what’s ahead for Spurs. Here’s a look at what Mourinho will be up against in the next two months.

[READ: 5 things Mourinho must do at Tottenham]


Game 1: Tottenham at West Ham, Saturday, Premier League

Mourinho’s first game in charge is a London derby, which is a pretty tough way to start life at the club. Coming on the road, you can expect a packed house, tons of media attention, and possibly a re-energized squad. That’s what Mourinho will be hoping for, anyways.

Sebastian Haller has struggled recently, and with just four goals in 11 Premier League games, he could be looking at this matchup as a way to get back on the scoresheet. It will be up to Mourinho to re-organize a want-away defense.

Game 2: Tottenham v. Olympiakos, Nov. 26, UEFA Champions League

Game 3: Tottenham v. Bournemouth, Nov. 30, Premier League

Game 4: Tottenham at Manchester United, Dec. 4, Premier League

Mourinho only has to wait three weeks before his first trip back to Old Trafford. Even though it’s coming soon, it’s not a guarantee that it will be Mourinho v. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is under a lot of pressure himself. Things haven’t improved at Man United much since Mourinho was sacked, and a win for him on the road would be the kind of grudge match he lives for.

Game 5: Tottenham v. Burnley, Dec. 7, Premier League

Game 6: Tottenham at Bayern Munich, Dec. 11, Champions League

If the Champions League stopped today, passed Go and went directly to the knockout rounds, Tottenham would be in. Despite all the Premier League troubles, Spurs have done well enough to stay ahead of Red Star Belgrade and Olympiakos in the standings. Should Tottenham beat Olympiakos in November, and Red Star loses to Bayern Munich, it will be set. However, if Tottenham hasn’t secured a place in the knockout round by then, it may need a result against Bayern at home. That will be one of Mourinho’s biggest tasks moving forward.

Game 7: Tottenham at Wolves, Dec. 15, Premier League

Game 8: Tottenham v. Chelsea, Dec. 22, Premier League

Tottenham opens the busy holiday period against Mourinho’s other Premier League former club, and the place where he made his name in England. At this point, Mourinho will have been with Tottenham for an entire month and if things are going well, Tottenham could challenge Chelsea in this match. If Tottenham remain at its current level, Chelsea could certainly win a match like this on the road at the new White Hart Lane. Another side plot will be Mourinho facing his former star midfielder, Frank Lampard.

Game 9: Tottenham v. Brighton and Hove Albion, Dec. 26, Premier League

Game 10: Tottenham at Norwich City, Dec. 28, Premier League

Mourinho will have to navigate some tough matches, including big six derbies against Chelsea and Man United, plus a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, it certainly could have been worse for Tottenham. Spurs has five home games, along with matches against Burnley, Bournemouth, Norwich City and Brighton and Hove Albion. Despite 10 games in the rest of 2019, and a busy holiday period, Mourinho has a shot to turn Spurs’ season around and put them in contention for fourth place by May.

UEFA investigates player’s claim of racial abuse in Romania

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA has called for further investigations into allegations by a Sweden player he was racially abused by Romania fans at a European Championship qualifying game.

After Alexander Isak reported his claim to the match referee last Friday, play in Sweden’s 2-0 win was briefly stopped to broadcast a warning to fans in Bucharest. The stadium will host four Euro 2020 games in June.

[READ: How the USMNT found and kept Sergino Dest]

UEFA says it opened a disciplinary investigation, and also charged Romania’s soccer federation for separate incidents of an alleged “illicit banner” and “illicit chants.” Those charges will be judged on Dec. 12.

Romania faces more severe UEFA action because it was already under one year’s probation for previous incidents of offensive fan behavior.

Only accompanied children were allowed to attend Romania’s home qualifier against Norway last month.

The next UEFA punishment could affect Romania’s next game in the Euro 2020 playoffs round in March.

Report: Austin FC hire Reyna as sporting director

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Months after locking in Josh Wolff as head coach, Austin FC is reportedly on the verge of naming one of MLS’ best sporting directors to the same role.

The Athletic reported on Wednesday that Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has hired Claudio Reyna from New York City FC to be the expansion club’s new sporting director. It’s the second expansion club that Reyna is working for since he joined NYCFC in 2013 as its first director of soccer operations.

[READ: MLS takes big step with All-Star game update]

If true, it’s a shrewd move by Precourt to bring in a man who knows MLS like the back of his thumb, and to pair him with a former teammate from the U.S. Men’s National Team. Wolff’s spent almost his entire career in professional soccer in MLS too, so the club now has two influential individuals who are knowledgable about the league and it’s various roster mechanisms.

Austin FC doesn’t enter MLS until 2021, so locking in Reyna now gives him more than a year of runway towards building an MLS-ready roster. Precourt has surely seen the best-case scenario – Seattle, Los Angeles FC, Atlanta United – where a team loaded with top-heavy talent and good role players can make a deep playoff run in its expansion season. But he’s likely also seen the worst-case scenarios – look at Minnesota United in the past and FC Cincinnati this year.

Bringing in Reyna certainly makes it more likely that Austin FC’s future will lie in the former category.