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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.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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.

Rapinoe, Ellis win FIFA honors; Five USWNT players in Best XI

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Zero surprise here.

Megan Rapinoe has been named the Best women’s player Jill Ellis has been named the top manager in women’s soccer at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony in Milan on Monday.

[ MORE: Messi win’s men’s honor, City shut out ]

Ellis led the USWNT to its second-straight Women’s World Cup this summer, the first boss to manage the feat (Germany won two-straight World Cups, but had Tina Theune and Silvia Neid at the helm).

Rapinoe made waves on and off the field during the USWNT’s spell-binding run to a second-successive title, its fourth in history.

The Women’s Best XI sees four of her teammates join her: Alex Morgan, Kelley O’Hara, Julie Ertz, and Rose Lavelle.

Three members of Women’s Champions League winners Lyon also make the list, as does top goalkeeper winner Sari van Veenendaal.

  • Sari van Veenendaal (NED) – Arsenal / Atletico Madrid
  • Lucy Bronze (ENG) – Olympique Lyonnais
  • Wendie Renard (FRA) – Olympique Lyonnais
  • Nilla Fischer (SWE) – VfL Wolfsburg / Linkopings
  • Kelley O’Hara (USA) – Utah Royals
  • Amandine Henry (FRA) – Olympique Lyonnais
  • Julie Ertz (USA) – Chicago Red Stars
  • Rose Lavelle (USA) – Washington Spirit
  • Megan Rapinoe (USA) – Reign FC
  • Marta (BRA) – Orlando Pride
  • Alex Morgan (USA) – Orlando Pride

Messi named FIFA’s Best men’s player; Best XI controversial

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Lionel Messi is the winner of FIFA’s The Best men’s player, awarded Monday in Milan.

The prolific megastar beat out Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo for the honor.

All three, of course, were on the Best XI, though it was not without controversy.

[ MORE: Rapinoe, Ellis headline women’s winners ]

Premier League champions Manchester City had no representation on FIFA’s The Best XI, which comically included three Real Madrid players.

Champions League winners Liverpool followed up the Best Goalkeeper honor given to Alisson Becker and Best Manager nod to Jurgen Klopp with spots for Van Dijk and obviously  Alisson on the XI.

Real Madrid, La Liga’s third place side, put Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, and Luka Modric on the team, as well as Eden Hazard who spent most of the awards season with Chelsea.

Juve’s Ronaldo is joined by Matthijs de Ligt, who led Ajax’s long UCL run before leaving for Turin.

Kylian Mbappe helps shut the attacks of Man City and Liverpool out of the team. Not one player from Germany or the Bundesliga was named to the team.

  • Alisson Becker (BRA) – Liverpool
  • Matthijs de Ligt (NED) – Ajax / Juventus
  • Sergio Ramos (ESP) – Real Madrid
  • Virgil van Dijk (NED) – Liverpool
  • Marcelo (BRA) – Real Madrid
  • Luka Modric (CRO) – Real Madrid
  • Frenkie de Jong (NED) – Ajax/Barcelona
  • Eden Hazard (BEL) – Chelsea/ Real Madrid
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Juventus
  • Kylian Mbappe (FRA) – Paris Saint-Germain
  • Lionel Messi (ARG) – Barcelona

Leeds, Bielsa win Fair Play honor at FIFA’s The Best awards

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Well this is peak FIFA.

Football’s governing body has just awarded Leeds United and much-admired manager Marcelo Bielsa its FIFA Fair Play award at its 2019 The Best awards ceremony in Milan.

[ MORE: Klopp wins manager award ]

The reason the Whites won the award is understandable, if you just ignore the fact that they were publicly caught cheating months earlier… and that the “fair play” moment came after an extremely questionable play which led to a brawl.

The win comes for Bielsa’s decision in late April, when his player Mateusz Klich scored a goal despite Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija being injured on the pitch.

Bielsa instructed his players to allow Villa to tie the match after a post-goal fight saw a red card to Anwar El Ghazi.

Fair play? Sure, and Leeds kissed goodbye its slim hopes of finishing in automatic promotion place in the Championship.

However, Leeds was also caught monitoring Derby County training sessions, leading to Bielsa to admit in January that he had spied “all the rivals” that season.

I mean, who were the other nominees? Jose Callejon and the Turkish player who fouled players with a sharp object during play?

Bielsa admitted this during an extraordinary Powerpoint session for media members in England which showed the maniacal depths of his preparation, which curried a lot of favor with the media and fans.

Yes, even though he admitted Leeds cheated the whole season.

He also said, “I thought I wasn’t violating the norm,” which is ridiculous.

Now of course we should be too pious, either; A whole lot of teams cheat in this way and football is a cutthroat game. Bielsa is a managerial legend and loved by Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, and Jorge Sampaoli.

Jurgen Klopp wins FIFA’s The Best men’s manager

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Jurgen Klopp has been named the top manager in the world for the past season at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony on Monday in Milan, Italy.

The UEFA Champions League-winning manager beat out Premier League winner Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and UCL finalist Mauricio Pochettino of Spurs.

[ WATCH: FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony ]

Klopp, of course, was magnanimous in victory.

 “It is great, nobody expected this 20, 10, five, four years ago that I would be standing here,” Klopp said. “We know what an incredible job Mauricio Pochettino did and what Pep did.”

He thanked the owners and players of his club.

“To the owners thank you, they gave me an incredible team. I have to thank my team – as a coach you can only be as good as your team is. I’m really proud of being manager of such an incredible bunch of players. This is an individual prize, I don’t 100% understand individual prizes, I’m here for a lot of people.”

Good for Klopp.