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Transfer rumor roundup: Zaha to Everton; Sane to Bayern

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The transfer window is in full swing as reports and rumors are in overdrive between now and Aug. 8 when the window shuts for the start of the 2019-20 season.

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


Wilfried Zaha has made it clear he wants to leave Crystal Palace this summer but it appears that his favored destination, Arsenal, may not happen.

Our partners at Sky Sports are reporting that Everton have lined up talks with Palace this week to discuss the potential sale of Zaha, as the Eagles want $100 million for their star winger but Arsenal have only offered close to $50 million so far.

Zaha, 26, is in his prime and wants to play in Europe and challenge for trophies. Can Everton really offer him that?

Marco Silva‘s side kicked on massively in the second half of last season and with a bit more cutting edge up top, which Zaha would provide, they could mount a serious challenge to finish in the top six this season. With Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Theo Walcott and Bernard around, Silva certainly has a real mixture of talented attackers. But who is going to score 15-20 goals per season?

Zaha could be that man, so too could Richarlison, and the pace of that duo on the break would make the Toffees a very dangerous side to play against.

With Idrissa Gueye linked with a $35 million move to PSG and Ademola Lookman heading to RB Leipzig for $28 million, perhaps Everton are trying to raise some funds to buy Zaha in the final weeks of the window? If they do strike a deal with Palace, it will be intriguing to see if Zaha would fancy a move to Merseyside as he has previously stated his desire to stay in London.


Bayern Munich remain bullish about their chances of signing Leroy Sane from Manchester City this summer, as the German champions are keen to replace Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery who both left the Bavarians this summer.

Sane, 23, was rotated in and out of Pep Guardiola‘s starting lineup last season as City won the domestic treble, and at times the German winger seem far from impressed as Raheem Sterling and Bernando Silva stole the spotlight in wide areas.

Bayern’s hierarchy haven’t been shy about their admiration, or pursuit, of the winger and head coach Niko Kovac had this to say during their summer tour of the USA.

“Our bosses have shown him a clear plan,” Kovac told Sport Bild. “We are very focused, Leroy knows what to expect here, and when a player with such capacity comes to FC Bayern, he knows his job. You can see that the transfer is not easy. But I know that our people are working very hard to make it happen. We will do everything to realize this transfer. We all know that Leroy Sane is our dream player. The public knows that, we know that.”

Wow. Talk about digging your heels in.

Man City do not want to sell Sane but the player they bought from Schalke in 2016 has so far refused to sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium. He has two years left on his current deal at City and Pep Guardiola wants him to stay but he’s admitted they do not control the situation.

“Two times, three times I said: we want him to stay. That’s why he has an offer to extend his contract. It’s not in our hands,” Guardiola said. “The agreement is good and if he wants to leave, I’ll be sad. Hopefully, he stays.”

Sane is a wanted man and his form during preseason for Man City has been very good, as he scored twice in their 6-1 win against Kitchee SC on Wednesday.

Do Man City really need him? It’s debatable. Having Silva, Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero around give them a wealth of attacking options, but only Sterling is an out-and-out winger with blistering pace like Sane. Getting players wide and keeping them wide is a key part of Guardiola’s playing style and you can often hear him barking out orders to Sane to stay wide as he tries to drift inside.

Unless City can convince Sane to stay, it seems like a move to Bayern is likely.

LIVE, UCL: Two knockout spots remain; Man City, Tottenham in play

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Two more spots in the knockout round remain unclaimed as the final day of group stage play begins on Wednesday.

Groups C and D both require a second team to progress through to the Round of 16, with five teams still in the mix.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Manchester City has already won Group D, but the remaining three teams Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, and Atalanta all remain in contention for the second spot. Shakhtar currently sits second and has a home match with Atalanta, while Dinamo Zagreb host Man City in Croatia. Both those games feature in the early 12:55 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Group D, meanwhile, has a pair of sides vying for the last spot. Atletico Madrid has a point advantage, currently sitting in second with a home match against already eliminated Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow. Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, hosts group winners Juventus in Germany.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur has already locked up a spot in the knockout stage, locked into the second spot in Group A, and they finish out the group stage with a visit to confirmed group winners Bayern Munich. Jose Mourinho told the press he forbid his players from watching any footage of the 7-2 defeat to Bayern to begin group stage play, and is resting “a few players” ahead of the festive Premier League fixtures.

Finally, Group A has already been decided with Real Madrid confirmed to finish second behind winners Paris Saint-Germain, but the two still have to complete the fixture list. Madrid heads to Belgium to take on Club Brugge, while PSG hosts Galatasaray. The Spanish side is most likely to rest players, with a weekend visit to Valencia coming up on Sunday followed by a midweek El Clasico that was rescheduled from earlier in the season.

Below is the full schedule for the last UCL games on Wednesday, with all games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted, and you can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.


Wednesday Champions League action

Group A

Club Brugge v. Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain v. Galatasaray

Group B

Bayern Munich v. Tottenham Hotspur
Olympiakos v. Red Star Belgrade

Group C

Dinamo Zagreb v. Manchester City (12:55 p.m. ET)
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Atalanta (12:55 p.m. ET)

Group D

Atletico Madrid v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer Leverkusen v. Juventus

Late goalkeeper strike seals knockout spot in UEFA Youth League

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Club Brugge goalkeeper Senne Lammens may just be 17 years old, but he just lived every goalkeeper’s dream: to score a dramatic equalizer in the dying seconds of a game to send the club through to a European competition’s knockout stage.

The young goalkeeper came forward on a corner in the 94th minute of a game against Real Madrid in the UEFA Youth League Wednesday morning in Belgium. With the visitors leading 2-1 and added time just about expired, Brugge needed to score an equalizer to secure passage to the knockout stage, lest they be left at the mercy of Galatasaray’s match against PSG.

Lammens delivered. The corner swung in to the top of the six-yard box and the youngster was on hand to head home a pinpoint effort inside the far post.

The header was quite literally the last act of the game, with stoppage time already creeping more than 60 seconds past the minimum three added minutes.

Lammens has shuttled back and forth between the youth squad and the senior squad this season serving occasionally as an emergency third goalkeeper behind Simon Mignolet and Ethan Horvath. Mostly, though, he’s been with the youth squad appearing in five of their six UEFA Youth League games, with three wins and a draw.

Report: Arsenal not interested in Ancelotti “profile”

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According to The Athletic reporter David Ornstein, Arsenal is not interested in a manager of Carlo Ancelotti’s “profile.”

The Italian was recently let go by Napoli after a disappointing first half of the season despite qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage.

Ancelotti has won a Premier League title, three Champions League titles, and a Scudetto during his career but apparently a manager with his resume does not interest the Gunners, who may be looking for a more youthful boss with a longer-term strategy and potentially stronger club or domestic ties.

At 60 years old, Ancelotti has been fired from posts at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and now Napoli over the last four years. Over those four seasons, he has just one league title, the 2016/17 Bundesliga crown he won with Bayern in runaway fashion, and has exceeded expectations in very limited capacities, instead seeing things turn sour at each job relatively quickly. This season at Napoli, the club sits seventh in the Serie A table, mired in a horrible seven-match winless run that has seen them tumble further from the Champions League places.

Ornstein’s report also touched on the timeline of a potential hire, with the club apparently still deciding on whether to see out the season with interim manager Freddie Ljungberg or make a mid-season appointment. He states that the club “want situation settled asap” but also prefer “right man over quick decision.” He does not identify who the number one target is, but suggests that if that person is available at this point in time, they will make the hire mid-season, otherwise there will be a waiting game.

Jorge Sampaoli resigns as Santos boss

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Brazilian club Santos confirmed Tuesday evening that manager Jorge Sampaoli has resigned as boss.

Sampaoli, who won the 2015 Copa America in charge of Chile but could not recreate that success with the Argentinian national team, signed on with Santos a year ago and guided them to a second-place finish in the Brazilian top flight, 16 points behind runaway champions Flamengo. His contract had another year, expiring in the winter of 2020, but with reports of offers from multiple clubs, he has stepped down.

The most widely reported destination is fellow Brazilian club Palmeiras, whom many believe Sampaoli has already entered talks with. He has also been linked with Argentinian club Racing, and his name has cropped up on occasion with the Arsenal vacancy, although that seems like a longshot. It was said in late October that Sampaoli had an offer from an unnamed La Liga club, but those rumors have cooled.

His reason for leaving Santos after just one successful season in charge is unconfirmed, but rumors are circulating that Sampaoli had incredibly ambitious transfer plans for the offseason, and when club president Jose Carlos Peres could not guarantee his support, the relationship became strained.

The 2019 season was mostly successful for Sampaoli at Santos, finishing second in the league table, but the secondary competitions were somewhat disappointing. They received a tough first-round draw in the Copa Sudamericana, falling to River Plate on away goals. They were also ousted from the Copa do Brasil in the Round of 16, falling 2-1 to an Atletico Minero side that finished 13th in the league table.