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Transfer Rumor Roundup: 4 teams in for Pepe, Man United looking at Pogba replacements

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The new Premier League season is just over two weeks away, and that means teams are getting closer to finalizing their roster and looking to push through big-money moves to get squads settled as soon as possible.

The Nicolas Pepe saga is ramping up to a big finale, with four teams apparently in the mix. Manchester United is heavily rumored to be one of those teams, while Napoli is a confirmed suitor for the 24-year-old winger.

Lille president Gerard Lopez confirmed that four teams have met their valuation for Pepe, and now the player will choose the destination he prefers based on club stature and salary offer. “We’ve received offers that satisfy us in a financial sense from four clubs. [Napoli president] De Laurentiis has met our asking price of €80 million. Now it’s up to the player to decide where he’ll go, also based on the offers that his agents have received from the four clubs.”

According to reports in Italy via footballitalia, Napoli’s contract offer is $4.4 million per year, while Pepe is searching for $5.5 million per year. Other teams rumored to be involved are Liverpool, Arsenal and Bayern Munich, with the Reds reportedly one of the teams in with a bid according to L’Equipe. It’s unlikely the Gunners are in for that high a price given their reported budget this season. Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Inter have also been mentioned alongside Pepe’s name.


According to a report by ESPNFC, Real Madrid is “increasingly confident” they can sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United in the next two weeks, causing a trickle-down effect in the midfielder market.

Zinedine Zidane wants the French midfielder but will have work to do to convince the club heirarchy as they’ve already spent big this summer on the likes of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic. With the James Rodriguez deal yet to find a resolution and plenty of work to do on offloading Gareth Bale, it seems at the moment difficult to find room in the squad and money in the pocket for a swoop. Still, the report says Madrid harbors “a feeling” that a deal can be completed for less than Manchester United’s apparent $200 million asking price.

With that in mind, Spanish publication AS is reporting that Manchester United is making plans in the event Paul Pogba is snatched up. The chief target United has identified to replace the Frenchman is Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who would cost around $83 million. The report says the two sides are already “very close” on a potential agreement that would go through only if Pogba is sold.


AS is also reporting that Barcelona is looking to offload Ivan Rakitic this summer in an effort to thin the bulging midfield ranks and make room for Frenkie de Jong.

Rakitic, who has been with Barcelona since the summer of 2014, will be 32 years old before the conclusion of next season and has two years left on his contract. He has been a fixture in the Barcelona midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto, but with Arturo Vidal plus the emergence of young Arthur and the arrival of De Jong, Ernesto Valverde feels he can cope without the aging Croatian as the club looks to get something for his services before his market value truly plummets.

While neither side has reportedly made strides in contract negotiations, Rakitic has said he wishes to stay with the club. He has made 268 appearances for Barcelona since joining five years ago, scoring 34 goals and assisting 37 more.


Reports in Italy claim that Juventus has rejected a bid from Tottenham for striker Paulo Dybala.

According to the reports, Spurs submitted a bid of $55 million, but the Italian side values Dybala at a considerably higher amount of nearly double the reported bid.

Spurs have looked for attacking options with the threat of Christian Erkisen’s possible departure constantly looming over the club, although talks of such an occurence has greatly diminished in recent weeks. Still, club president and transfer guru Daniel Levy must prepare for the possibility, and a number of names have come up in that department.

Dybala’s time at Juventus has seen him rise to a star in the European game, and yet he still has not secured a true place within the starting lineup of either his club team or country. While he’s made over 30 Serie A appearances in each of his four seasons with Juventus, he has never topped the 2,500 minute mark, only starting 24 of Juve’s 38 league games last campaign.

Watch Live: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final

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The 2019 U-17 World Cup final takes place in Bezerrão Stadium on Saturday as favorites Brazil host an inspired Mexico.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

With four goals and one assist, Kaio Jorge has been Brazil’s most productive attacking player this tournament, while Mexico’s and Los Angeles Galaxy’s Efrain Alvarez is hoping to end an incredible tournament in triumphant fashion.

History between both national teams in a U-17 World Cup final dates back to 2005, when LAFC’s Carlos Vela and Mexico routed Marcelo and Brazil 3-0 in Lima, Peru.

Click on the link above to watch the game live.


U-17 World Cup final
Brazil v. Mexico – 5 p.m. ET

England finishes EURO 2020 qualifying by beating Kosovo

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England’s 2020 European Championship qualification campaign wrapped up on Sunday with a slightly flattering 4-0 victory away to third-place, and playoff qualifiers, Kosovo.

[ VIDEO: Game stopped for racist chanting; player targeted later scores goal ]

Gareth Southgate‘s side was hardly at its best just three days after thrashing Montenegro and securing qualification to this summer’s tournament. They only led by a score of 1-0 through 78 minutes, before scoring a trio of late goals to put the game out of reach and rob the hosts of any potential moral victory.

Harry Winks opened the scoring, and his England account, in the 32nd minute. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Winks near the top of Kosovo’s penalty area and though Winks’ first touch appeared quite poor, every player in blue stopped and stood as the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder walked in on goal and coolly slotted the ball home to make it 1-0.

[ PREVIEW: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final ]

From that point forward, Kosovo enjoyed control of the game’s tempo and looked every bit the Three Lions’ equal. That is, until Harry Kane finished an open chance at the back post in the 79th minute and opened the floodgates.

Marcus Rashford added a third four minutes later, followed by another first England goal — this time, scored by Mason Mount — in the 91st.

England finishes EURO 2020 qualification with a record of 7W-0D-1L and a +31 goal differential, which is second only to Belgium who sit at +32 with one game still to play. England required Sunday’s victory to confirm its place as a Pot 1 team at the draw for the group stage.

Arsenal beat Spurs in front of WSL-record crowd of 38,262

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LONDON (AP) The first north London derby in the Women’s Super League produced a record crowd of 38,262 for the competition on Sunday when Arsenal claimed a 2-0 victory at Tottenham.

[ PREVIEW: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final ]

The newly fully professional side held out until the 66th minute when Kim Little struck for the champions and Vivianne Miedema extended Arsenal’s lead in the 82nd minute.

It was the first time Tottenham, in its first top-flight campaign, had staged women’s football at its main 61,000-capacity stadium, which opened earlier this year.

The crowd surpassed the 31,213 at Manchester City for the visit of Manchester United on the opening weekend of the season in September.

Tottenham hosted Arsenal on the first designated Women’s Football Weekend in England which also saw 23,500 at Anfield for Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Everton.

[ MORE: Barcelona, Lionel Messi negotiating a new deal ]

Chelsea opened the season by hosting Tottenham in front of around 25,000 at Stamford Bridge.

League leaders Chelsea were back at their usual home of Kingsmeadow on Sunday. Maren Mjelde’s penalty sealed a 1-0 victory over promoted Manchester United in front of 4,790 fans – a WSL record crowd for a game not played in a large stadium usually used by the men’s team.

VIDEO: Dutch 2nd-division game stopped for racist abuse; player later scores goal

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A Dutch second-division game between Den Bosch and Excelsior was temporarily stopped on Sunday due to suspected racist chanting and Nazi salutes performed by some of Den Bosch’s fans.

[ MORE: Barcelona, Lionel Messi negotiating a new deal ]

The game was halted by referee Laurens Gerrets in the 30 minute. Dutch winger Ahmad Mendes Moreira, who plays for Excelsior, was the player targeted by the racist chanting. He was at that time seen gesturing toward the crowd, indicating to Gerrets and teammates that he was hearing racist abuse from the stands.

In a mixed zone for media availability after the game, Den Bosch manager Erik van der Ven is reported to have called Mendes Moreira a “pathetic little man” for pointing out the racist abuse to Gerrets. Den Bosch released a statement claiming that no racist abuse occurred, that the fans were instead making “crow sounds” and treating Mendes Moreira to a “crow concert,” which they claim is part of customary treatment of opposing players.

[ PREVIEW: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final ]

Mendes Moreira appeared emotional after scoring a goal to put Excelsior 2-1 ahead fewer than 15 minutes after the game was restarted.