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Transfer rumors: Pogba, Neymar swap; Wan-Bissaka deal close

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The transfer window is officially open again and that means one thing: transfer reports are kicking up a few notches.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Here’s a look at some of the latest gossip from around the Premier League…


An audacious swap deal has reportedly been discussed between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

A report from the Independent’s Miguel Delaney states that PSG have offered Neymar in a swap deal for Paul Pogba, and in many regards this deal would make a lot of sense for everyone involved.

However, as the report states, United paying Neymar the $1.2 million he is currently on per week at PSG is the major stumbling block. It is believed Neymar could return to Barcelona this summer after several poor decisions off the pitch, while injuries have hampered his last two seasons for club and country. PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi admitted in recent weeks that Neymar and others stars could leave if they don’t change their ways.

As for Pogba, he is wanted by both his former club Juventus and Real Madrid and has stated he wants a new challenge this summer.

If United could somehow convince Neymar to take a bit of a pay cut and to quit playing in the Champions League, at least for next season, his star quality is undoubted and he would have a huge impact in the Premier League. They would also get rid of Pogba and save some face.

This deal probably won’t happen due to Neymar’s demands, but it would make a lot of sense for everyone, perhaps too much, if it did go through.


The latest update on Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s potential move to Manchester United from Crystal Palace is that both clubs will meet on Monday.

According to the Guardian, United made an improved offer for the 21-year-old right back over the weekend but Palace still want to remove some clauses in the deal they made with the Red Devils to buy back Wilfried Zaha in 2015.

The details of the AWB deal will see United pay Palace an initial fee of $63 million with other add-ons in the deal, while they also want a sell-on clause United have for Zaha to be removed. If Zaha also leaves Palace for big money this summer, it is believed that United could receive close to $20 million of any deal.

Wan-Bissaka had a rough time for England’s U21 side in the European Championships over the past week. He scored a late own goal in the defeat against France and was then dropped from the team for their shock defeat to Romania which saw the young Three Lions dumped out of the competition.

It is understandable that the Palace academy product has had his head turned, as the opportunity to be United’s first-choice right back for the next five to six years, at least, has presented itself.

After just one full season in the PL his quality both defensively and in the attacking third is clear for all to see and AWB would slot in perfectly with United’s policy of signing young, hungry players for the future. With Antonio Valencia leaving and Ashley Young a veteran playing out of position at right back, signing a new right back is key for United this summer.

Expect AWB to be a United player in the coming weeks, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the majority of his squad together for their preseason tour of the Far East and Australia.

Court date for USWNT’s law suit versus U.S. Soccer delayed

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A court case that has dragged U.S. Soccer’s administration through the mud and led to a change of leadership may drag into the summer.

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A judge in California has delayed the May 5 trial of gender discrimination against the USSF until June 16 due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. A pretrial conference was also moved to June 1.

The federation is being sued by members of the two-time reigning World Cup champion USWNT under the Equal Pay Act.

The women are requesting more than $66 million in damages.

The extra month gives both parties more time to reach a settlement which could keep this ugly case away from trial. Given the uncertainty in our world, it could of course be delayed again.

The USSF has a new CEO in Will Wilson, who can make a major statement of change by stopping the trial from reaching court.

Handicapping the Final Four of Premier League March Madness

Premier League March Madness
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Our Premier League March Madness results have been as topsy-turvy as the 2019/20 on-field campaign before coronavirus halted it last month.

Yes, the runaway No. 1 seed is alive, but the second, third, fourth, and fifth seeds have been expelled from the tournament within the first two rounds.

Voting in the semifinal round begins Thursday.

[ RESULTS: March Madness Round of 16 ]

Before we go any further, if you’re unfamiliar: To make sure you’re not missing out on either March Madness or the business end of the PL season, we’ve gone ahead and merged the two competitions. The March Madness Final Four and Championship game were due to take place this weekend in Atlanta but now you will be voting on Tottenham v. Arsenal instead of Duke v. Kansas.

Teams are seeded from 1-16 based on their current spot in the table, with Aston Villa winning the relegation playoffs on Monday to remain in the Premier League.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ] 

Before we handicap the semifinal matches, let’s take a look at where the field sits after your Wednesday voting.

No. 1 Liverpool v. No. 12 Everton
No. 6 Wolves v. No. 7 Sheffield United

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Look, all bets are off for the derby. The Everton faithful has shown up in a big way during voting, dispatching Manchester United and Chelsea.

That’s big time stuff, though Liverpool ended the dreams of our presumptive sleeping giant favorite Arsenal after beating West Ham in the Sweet Sixteen.

The Reds are going to have to not just been upstart Everton but overcome the legions of rival supporters who would happily click the Toffees’ box rather than see Liverpool gain the crown.

The other side of the bracket sees No. 7 Sheffield United looking to continue its surprising run in both the PL season and our voting.

The Blades knocked off Man City, potentially aided by the same phenomenon Everton hopes to see on Thursday.

Now they meet Wolves, who may be riding a crest of North American momentum in the form of affinity for El Tri hero Raul Jimenez.

Our prediction: Everton and Wolves in the Final.

RESULTS: Premier League March Madness Elite Eight

Premier League March Madness
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Everton continued its upset path toward in our Premier League March Madness voting, showing its sensational support and setting up a fantastic eMerseyside Derby in the Final Four.

Thousands of votes were cast Wednesday, and the Toffees upset isn’t even the top underdog story.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ] 

Chris Wilder’s Blades of Sheffield United won a back-and-forth affair with No. 2 seed Manchester City to move into the semifinals.

That’s where they’ll meet No. 6 seed Wolves, who powered past Leicester City as if it wasn’t a challenge.

If you want to see the full game schedule, seedings and bracket, here is the post you need as the tournament will run all week long:

Monday: Relegation semifinals, final – Aston Villa prevailed, Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford relegated
TuesdaySweet 16 results in full
Wednesday: Elite Eight
Thursday: Final Four
Friday: Championship game

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

IFAB: New handball rule can be adopted when games resume

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The International Football Association Board (IFAB) issued a letter from secretary Lukas Brud on Wednesday, outlining several changes to the game.

The “tee shirt line” handball rule may be coming to club football quicker than expected due to the coronavirus suspension of the 2019/20 season.

IFAB will allow leagues the choice to use the new handball rule when matches resume this season, also making changes to VAR protocol and vowing to review the offside rule.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The new handball rule states that the shoulder goes to the end of the shirt sleeve or the bottom of the armpit (though obviously not in the case of a long-sleeve jersey).

For the purposes of determining handball offences, the ‘arm’ stops at the bottom of the armpit

So… get ready for baggy, longer jersey sleeves, or the increased recruitment of players with the longest armpits.

Kidding aside, the handball rule desperately needed clarification and we’ll see if this gives enough to fans and players alike.

Referees will now be “expected” to go to the screen on the field when a call is subjective, forcing the official to either uphold or overrule his initial call.

This same post says IFAB will now allow accidental handballs in the run-up to a goal in certain situations.

“Accidental handball by an attacking player should only be penalized if it ‘immediately’ results in a goal or an obvious opportunity for the player and/or their team to score a goal (i.e. following the handball, the ball travels only a short distance and/or there are very few passes).”

Well, that needs some clarification.

Back to the timing issue for the new handball rule, it seems logical that leagues would want to introduce new laws with a new season but stand-by for the decision of your favorite league.

As for the offside rule, “The members agreed that the fundamental philosophy of offside is underpinned by a desire to encourage attacking football and the scoring of goals. It was further agreed, therefore, that Law 11 – Offside should be analyzed and reviewed with a view to potentially proposing changes reflecting this philosophy.”

It’s a lot to unpack, and we’ll surely here from proponents and opponents of the changes soon. As always, implementation will make the biggest difference in how these changes are received.