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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Alderweireld to Roma, Haller to West Ham

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According to Sky Sports, Roma sporting director Franco Baldini is in London to discuss a move for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld. The 30-year-old was a regular for Spurs along the back line last season, but reportedly has a clause in his contract where he can leave for a bargain price of $31 million. That clause reportedly expires July 25, leaving clubs with little time to take advantage of such a steal.

Still, Roma seems determined to lower this price even further, hoping to convince Spurs that Alderweireld could leave next summer for free with many bigger clubs scared away by his large wage demands and advanced age. Alderweireld rejected a contract offer from Spurs hoping to secure a bigger payday elsewhere, and if reports from Italy are to be believed, the offer from Roma are not exactly the massive windfall he may have hoped for.

There ultimately seems to be a lot more to go on this front before it becomes a reality. Daniel Levy, a known negotiator, likely won’t be spooked by letting a 31-year-old defender walk next summer after five strong seasons at the club and just $18 million spent to bring him from Ajax in 2015. The payday would be nice, but Alderweireld is still a strong starter at this point in his career and isn’t terribly valuable on the open market. Keeping him another season and letting him walk for free isn’t the worst decision Levy could make.


West Ham has been reportedly interested in Eintracht Frankfurt striker Sebastien Haller, but until recently, the player was not keen on the move. However, there’s apparently been a change of heart, and a $45 million deal may be back on.

According to L’Equipe reporter Hugo Delom, British agent Willie McKay has convinced Haller that a move would be best instead of holding out for a Champions League club. The 25-year-old scored 20 goals for Frankfurt last season across all competitions last season, including 15 in 29 Bundesliga appearances.

The Hammers need a goalscorer in the worst way. The only natural strikers on the roster are Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill. Chicharito is 31 and rumors are flying of an exit this summer, while Hugill spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough and struggled, scoring just six goals in 37 Championship appearances. Meanwhile, Robert Snodgrass is aging at 31 years old and Marko Arnautovic has departed for the Chinese league.


Aston Villa is reportedly in play for Brazilian U-23 captain Douglas Luiz. The 21-year-old midfielder is with Manchester City, having joined back in the summer of 2017 from Brazilian side Vasco de Gama, but he spent last season out on loan at Spanish side Girona and his pathway is still blocked by the wealth of talent in the senior squad.

According to the BBC report, a deal has been agreed upon for $19 million that would see Luiz move to the newly promoted side on a permanent basis. The Brazilian was unable to obtain a British work permit last summer, the partial reason for his loan to Girona, meaning he would have to give that another go for Villa to deploy him this coming season. The report states, however, that they feel confident he will be able to earn a work permit and be eligible to play this campaign.


According to numerous reports in England, with Telegraph reporter John Percy first on the scene, Wolves winger Ivan Cavaleiro is on his way to recently relegated side Fulham, with a medical scheduled for today and the possibility of an announcement soon after.

The reports all say that Fulham will snag the 25-year-old Portuguese international on a season-long loan and will have an option to buy at the end of the season. Cavaleiro was instrumental in Wolves’ promotion campaign two years ago, scoring nine goals and assisting 12 as Wolves won the Championship title, but he struggled to find time on the field in the Premier League last season, making just six starts all season. Wolves also offloaded fellow winger Helder Costa to Leeds United last week.

Fulham needs wingers desperately, with the departure of Ryan Babel and Andre Schurrle on his way back to Borussia Dortmund upon the club’s relegation. Cavaleiro seems a perfect capture for the Whites, as he has proven his ability in the Championship and could be an asset moving forward should they return to the top flight. The Whites are also linked this summer with Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert and Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter.


According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton has responded to an injury from RB Leipzig regarding to Ademola Lookman by setting a price of $31 million.

RB Leipzig is familiar with the 21-year-old England youth international, as the German side had Lookman on loan for the second half of the 2017/18 season. He made 11 Bundesliga appearances including seven starts, scoring five goals and improving as the loan spell went on. They attempted to sign him permanently at the end of his loan spell last summer but could not come to an agreement.

He returned to Everton and spent all of last season as a bench option, making just three starts but seeing the field 21 times, failing to find the back of the net. Lookman is with the Everton squad in Switzerland for their preseason tour.

Reports: Mourinho looking into Fellaini, Dzeko signings

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People joked when Jose Mourinho was hired at Tottenham Hotspur. “Just wait until he goes after Marouane Fellaini” they said.

If only they knew.

According to a report by Belgian publication DH, Mourinho is seriously considering a January swoop to bring Fellaini back to the Premier League, wishing for a player of his body and skill profile in his squad. Fellaini was initially a David Moyes signing at Manchester United in 2013, but became a Mourinho favorite thanks to his aerial presence in midfield and his ability to play up front in a pinch.

Fellaini is currently playing for Chinese club Shandong Luneng, having scored seven goals and assisted four more in 22 Chinese Super League matches this season while playing mostly a center-mid role. The club finished fifth in the league table, with the season just coming to a conclusion on December 1. Luneng also played in the Chinese League Cup final, falling to Shanghai Shenhua 3-0.

The Belgian’s popularity at Manchester United never reached the levels of other fan favorites, and he was often seen as symbolic of the club’s struggles to find top-level players. Still, Mourinho persisted with a player he clearly favored, with Fellaini eventually making 89 appearances across all competitions under his Portuguese boss.

Reports also indicate that Mourinho is eyeing Roma striker Edin Dzeko as a January option. The Italian club is currently fifth in the Serie A table, in a tight battle for a top four spot. Still, the Bosnia-Herzegovina international has a contract that runs through the summer of 2022, meaning the club could look to cash in on a player who will be 36 years old at the expiry of his current deal. Dzeko has declined somewhat, but still proves a goal threat, with six scores in 15 league matches this campaign plus another two in Europa League action.

Newcastle win dampened by Saint-Maximin injury

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Steve Bruce has seen Newcastle up to 10th in the table after topping Southampton 2-1, but the news wasn’t all good at St. James Park after the victory.

The Magpies boss confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin  could be out “for weeks” after pulling up deep into stoppage time, coming off in the 96th minute after all three Newcastle substitutes had been used.

Bruce partly blamed himself for the injury, claiming he nearly rested the Frenchman for the match. “I nearly left him out today,” Bruce said after the game, “and, now, I wish I had done because he could be out for weeks. I’m disappointed with myself. We don’t know how serious it is. I kick myself if he is out for a long time. The way he pulled up – let’s hope it’s not too serious.”

The manager claims Saint-Maximin was “fatigued” but risked him anyways. He could have brought the 22-year-old off at some point during the second half, but with the game level until Federico Fernandez’s 87th minute winner, he chose to risk it further looking for a winner. Bruce used his third and final substitute in the 85th minute to haul off Miguel Almiron still two minutes before the eventual winning goal was scored. And it wasn’t just Steve Bruce who thought he could miss significant time.

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Saint-Maximin struggled with a muscle injuries earlier in the season, missing games against Norwich City, Watford, and Liverpool while getting treatment. Since returning in full in early October, Saint-Maximin has played in every Premier League game for Newcastle, completing at least 80 minutes in eight of those nine games and finishing 90 minutes four times.

The injury is poorly timed with Newcastle set to begin a heavy set of fixtures. They take on Burnley next weekend before games against Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Everton, and Leicester City all in an eleven-day span through the holiday season. Saint-Maximin is a critical player to have go down, with a 7.07 WhoScored rating, ranking third on the team in that metric. He has completed 4.5 dribbles a game this season, which ranks second in the Premier League behind Wilfried Zaha‘s 4.6 despite having played five fewer games and 550 fewer minutes.

Ciaran Clark also went down during the game, with the Newcastle defender hauled off at halftime after suffering a calf injury.

Wolves, Seagulls split spoils at the Amex

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Wolves failed in a bid to pull within three points of fourth place, drawing Brighton 2-2 at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Diogo Jota scored twice in a 4-goal first half, with Neal Maupay and Davy Propper bagging goals for Brighton. The Seagulls remain 12th with 19 points.


Three things we learned

1. Wolves’ blink at Top Four chance: Wolves entered the day with a chance to close to within three points of fourth place Chelsea, and Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men next face Spurs, Norwich City, Man City, and Liverpool. They needed three points here. Not for lack of effort, they couldn’t conjure the magic.

2. Jota calm in the finish: Jota scored his second and third Premier League goals of the season, joining his Europa League success to give him six. He added five assists in the UEL, and is averaging 2.5 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per contest.

 

3. Maupay paying off faith: The French center forward has blossoming into a steady Premier League contributor after his outlandish production in the Championship earned him a big money move to the Amex Stadium. His sixth goal in 16 matches now includes goals against Wolves, Spurs, Everton, and Arsenal.

Man of the Match: Jota.


Brighton had most of the ball for the first half hour, but could’ve solve the Wolves back line.

Jota put Wolves ahead via a clever 1-2 with Raul Jimenez to get behind the line, prodding home for 1-0.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The lead lasted all of six minutes, as Maupay and Propper struck two minutes apart.

Maupay’s was a fine finish of a long Dale Stephens assist, while Propper headed a Leandro Trossard cross past Rui Patricio in the 36th.

Propper then fell from grace with a miserable pass stolen by Jonny Otto, the wingback finding Jota for his second goal of the night.

Wolves thought VAR might give them a penalty for handball in the 62nd minute, to no avail.

It was Wolves’ turn to give away a huge chance, but Stephens curled the effort wide of the far post in the 72nd minute.

Forster stars as 10-man Celtic beat Rangers, claim 10th-straight trophy

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At some point, Rangers supporters will be forgiven for thinking Celtic doesn’t have all the luck in Scotland.

The Bhoys, second best for most of the day, scored a 60th minute goal and then overcame a red card three minutes later to claim their 10th successive piece of Scottish silverware with a 1-0 win the Scottish League Cup.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Celtic’s Chris Jullien prodded home a free kick before 18-year-old Jeremie Frimpong was sent off, and Rangers had already controlled the proceedings before seeing a 16-5 edge in shot attempts at the final whistle.

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster, the former Saints and Newcastle man, was outstanding in the win, even stopping an Alfredo Morelos penalty as the Rangers star failed to deliver.

From the BBC:

“It was just one of them days, it went my way today. I’m buzzing. There’s been days when it’s not gone my way, today it has. I can’t say how much it means to me. I didn’t really think about the penalty to be honest. I picked the way it went. I’ll take it.

“That’s why I came back; to play in games like this, to win silverware, to play European football.”