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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Everton, Spurs, and Man United

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With the transfer window shutting in just five days, a number of rumors that have seen constant play over the past few weeks seem to be thinning, but a few teams continue to add ahead of Deadline Day.

Everton is one of the latter, and the Toffees appear close to securing a highly coveted young player who could come in and help immediately. Juventus striker Moise Kean is on his way to Goodison Park, according to Gianluca Di Marzio staffer Fabrizio Romano.

Kean has been linked to Everton for quite a while but it seemed Juventus was keen to keep him around with Mario Mandzukic aging and Gonzalo Higuain coming off a poor loan spell at Chelsea. With Paulo Dybala also linked with an exit, it’s odd that Juventus would be willing to green-light the sale of Kean, but it seems his time in Turin could be coming to an end.

The 19-year-old would be a fabulous addition for Everton who boasts just Cenk Tosun, Oumar Niasse, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin at striker. Kean scored six goals in 13 Serie A appearances last season, seeing most of his time coming at the end of the campaign, bagging all six of his scores through March and April, earning a spot in Italy’s squad and scoring twice in March Euro qualifiers.


Manchester United may have sealed a move for Harry Maguire, making the Leicester City defender the most expensive in the world, but they could be sweating another signing as Paulo Dybala has reportedly told Juventus he has no interest in moving to Old Trafford.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, passed on by Football Italia, Dybala is involved in a proposed swap deal for Romelu Lukaku, and while all agreements are completed, Dybala does not wish to move to Manchester United, putting the entire deal at risk.

The reason, in the report, is that United’s style does not suit the Argentine and that he wishes for a more attacking team like Paris Saint-Germain or Inter. Dyaba, according to the report, has not yet spoken to head coach Maurizio Sarri about his role in the team, but he has appeared in at least 30 games in all of his four seasons at thee club, so he figures to be an important player for The Old Lady this season.


Like Manchester United, Tottenham could also miss out on a target, although this could represent a much bigger miss for Spurs on a player they have been linked to for over a year.

Fulham hybrid wide player Ryan Sessegnon was thought to be headed to Spurs from the start of the summer, a player who has been linked to the Champions League finalists since at least last summer. The transfer, however, has dragged on with Fulham looking to secure top dollar for their teenage star.

Sessegnon had a poor season last campaign in his first full Premier League season, looking out of depth at times in top flight matches. Still, he is two seasons removed from his 16 goal, eight assist Championship campaign that saw him nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year and is a player that has enamored Tottenham since his early teenage years.

The question surrounding Sessegnon currently is the status of Danny Rose, who Spurs has reportedly tried to sell all summer to no avail and whose roster status could affect the purchase of Sessegnon, rumors have suggested. Rose has finally rejoined the squad for the end of preseason after skipping the Asia tour and the possibility he starts the season with the club is growing every passing day. Still, according to the London Evening Standard, the two transactions for now remain separate.

Will Spurs pull the trigger? Fulham boss Scott Parker thinks time is running out, saying, “Obviously I have read the speculation. Will it affect him? That would be up to Ryan.  It is not as if the phone has been ringing off the hook, a bid every other day for him and Fulham are turning it down, for him to have the hump.  I had this too as a young player. But if there is one good thing about the transfer window it is that come 5 o’clock next week when the door shuts, he can’t go anywhere.”

Sessegnon has a hamstring injury that has left him out of Fulham’s preseason preparations, and it remains to be seen whether he will continue as a White, having rebuffed all contract negotiations with the club to this point.


Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek was one of the Dutch side’s more underrated players during the Champions League run last season. Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong received many of the plaudits, but the creative van de Beek was one of their best attacking players all season long.

Despite less transfer rumor noise than his more popular teammates, the 22-year-old attacking midfielder confirmed he has been the subject of interest from Real Madrid.“Yes, Real Madrid are interested in me, but you are going very fast,” van de Beek said in his pre-match media obligations ahead of the club’s season opener against Vitesse tomorrow. “I don’t want to talk about what’s there or what is not, now I want to be focused on the match (for Ajax) against Vitesse.”

Over the last two Eredivisie seasons, van de Beek has made 68 league appearances, scoring 20 goals and assisting 16 more. Most impressively, he was spectacular in the latter stages of the Champions League against the biggest clubs in the world, scoring goals against Juventus and Tottenham while picking up assists in games against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

USMNT’s Arriola likely will miss MLS season, six World Cup qualifiers

Paul Arriola
AP Photo/LM Otero
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WASHINGTON (AP) D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola had major knee surgery Monday and likely will miss the entire Major League Soccer season and the United States’ first six qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup

The operation was to reconstruct his right anterior cruciate ligament. The team said there was no additional cartilage damage.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 25-year-old midfielder injured his knee Feb. 15 during D.C. United’s preseason match against Orlando in Tampa, Florida.

Arriola has been a regular starter for the U.S. national team under coach Gregg Berhalter. Arriola has five goals in 33 international appearances.

After failing to reach the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. starts qualifying for the 2022 tournament this year. The Americans have two matches each in September, October and November, then complete qualifying with two games apiece in March and September 2021.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

State of play in CONCACAF Champions League

CONCACAF Champions League
AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez
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Four of five Major League Soccer clubs alive in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 are in fine shape to reach the quarterfinals after one leg.

The fifth has a tall hill to climb.

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LAFC trails Club Leon by two and did not collect an away goal in Mexico during first leg play last week.

“It’s 2-0, but we’re going to work hard,” said LAFC attacker Latif Blessing. “We’re going to prepare ourselves to win the next game. … We did good, but we want to win. It couldn’t happen that way but we’re going to prepare next game to win this game. We need to win.”

The second leg in L.A. is one of the last two matches of the round, kicking off at 10 p.m. ET Thursday just as Seattle Sounders square off with Olimpia.

The Honduran side managed a controversial comeback in the 2-2 draw with Jordan Morris-fueled Seattle last week, but the Sounders will be happy to have those two away goals and home field.

Montreal Impact has the same situation for Deportivo Saprissa’s visit at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, while Atlanta United scored an away goal in a draw with Motagua and hosts the visitors from Honduras’ capital at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday.

That leaves us with NYCFC, who got a Heber hat trick amongst five away goals at Costa Rican side San Carlos in a 5-3 win. The second leg begins at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday at Red Bull Arena (yes, you read that correctly).

Elsewhere, Liga MX sides don’t have it much better. Cruz Azul leads Portmore 2-1 heading back to Mexico, while Club America scored an away goal in a draw with Comunicaciones.

Finally, Tigres UANL trails 2-1 after one leg with Alianza in El Salvador.

CCL second leg schedule
all times ET

Atlanta United v. Motagua (1-1) — 8 p.m. Tuesday
Cruz Azul v. Portmore United (2-1) — 10 p.m. Tuesday
NYCFC v. San Carlos (5-3) — 6 p.m. Wednesday
Montreal Impact v. Deportivo Saprissa (2-2) — 8 p.m. Wednesday
Tigres UANL v. Alianza (1-2) — 8 p.m. Wednesday
Club America v. Comunicaciones (1-1) — 10 p.m. Wednesday
Seattle Sounders v. Olimpia (2-2) — 10 p.m. Thursday
LAFC v Leon (0-2) — 10 p.m. Thursday

Eleven to go: Ranking obstacles on Liverpool’s unbeaten path

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Liverpool has won all five of its matches since the last time we evaluated its path to an unbeaten Premier League season.

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Those matches were ranked 14th, 12th, 11th, 10th, and 4th on our first rankings of obstacles to immortality, so very little of the heavy lifting has been conducted.

Let’s get something out of the way: If Liverpool is unable to overturn their first leg deficit against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, you can probably etch that zero in the league loss column into stone.

That said, many expect the Reds to overcome that 1-0 disadvantage from Madrid, so here’s where we slot the difficulties moving forward.

Unranked — Crystal Palace at home (March 21) and Brighton away (April 18) — Both of these dates are very easy on the eyes, but will be moved if Liverpool is alive in the FA Cup.

9. Newcastle away, time TBD May 17 — We’re now calling this the easiest date left. Klopp’s men aren’t going to lose an unbeaten season at the altar just because Steve Bruce bunkers down. St. James’ Park is a hassle, but

8. Watford away, 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday Klopp probably feels like he’s already playing with house money in the FA Cup, so there’s no reason to think he’ll hand any priority at all to the following FA Cup meeting with Chelsea.

7. Bournemouth home, 7:30 a.m. ET March 7 Situated between Chelsea in the FA Cup and the home UCL second leg versus Atleti, it’s not easy…  but the Cherries have given us less reason to believe they’ll threaten the Reds than any other team besides Newcastle.

6. Aston Villa home, 11:30 a.m. ET April 12Dean Smith‘s desperate Villans will have Villa Park rocking before Liverpool’s possible UCL quarterfinals 2nd leg days later.

5. Burnley home, 7:30 a.m. ET April 25 — Taking place just before a possible UCL quarterfinal first leg, Burnley will try to trouble the Reds in a similar manner to West Ham.

4. Chelsea home, time TBD May 9 — Both the Blues and Reds could be coming off UCL semifinal second legs. Don’t forget that Chelsea took the Reds to the wire in the UEFA Super Cup despite it being very early in Frank Lampard‘s tenure.

3. Arsenal away, time TBD May 2 — Both sides may be days away from needing a result to qualify for the UCL or UEL final.

2. Everton away, 4 p.m. ET March 16 — This may as well be the only match left on the Toffees’ docket that matters more than another, as Carlo Ancelotti and his men know the message they could send regarding the building up of Everton.

Not only that, but Everton has nothing else left to circle, no other competitions, nothing.

1. Man City away, 11:30 a.m. ET April 5 — Taking place 3-4 days before the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals and on the heels of an international break, it’s the lone date on the calendar that Liverpool won’t be heavy favorites to win.

Champions League: Chelsea, Napoli aim to slow Lewandowski, Messi

UEFA Champions League preview
Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images
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Four of the most dangerous attacks in Europe begin their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties on Tuesday.

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For Chelsea that means trying to find a way to limit the damage of away goals when Bayern Munich visits Stamford Bridge.

Of course, that means trying to slow lethal Robert Lewandowski. The 31-year-old Polish striker has scored 38 times in 32 appearances this season.

Here’s Frank Lampard, via Football.London:

Form of his life means something special with Lewandowski because of how well he’s been consistently in Europe for the last, how many years, I don’t know,” Lampard said. “Everything about him, from a distance, from afar, is just top class. Having the opportunity to watch a lot of Bayern in build-up to this game, that shines through. Of course, he’s going to be a huge threat. He’s not the only threat but he is a spearhead.”

Lampard points to the Blues work without the ball and away from it that will determine whether they can limit Lewandowski and Bayern.

“We traveled to Ajax and had a fantastic game off the ball,” he said. “We’ve had games like that this year in the league as well. But the levels have to go up.”

The Blues won’t have Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and N’Golo Kante, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is finally available after a long injury absence. Pedro may play.

[ MORE: JPW’s score predictions ]

Tuesday’s other first leg sees Napoli hosting Barcelona, which means Gennaro Gattuso trying to find a way to cool down Lionel Messi.

The world’s top player scored four goals at the weekend and had six assists in his three previous La Liga outings.

Another player who’s helped Barcelona reclaim the league lead will be critical to controlling the midfield against Napoli, and that’s Frenkie de Jong.

The 22-year-old has had fits and starts at Barca, especially this month. He admits that he’s had an odd time adjusting to Messi, the teammate, though it hasn’t been part of the problem. From FCBarcelona.com:

“When I began training with him it was strange, because when I was 12, still in secondary school, I used to watch a lot of football. He was already the best in the world. He won the Ballon d’Or back then, so I was a fan, or whatever you want to call it.”

Napoli boss Gattuso was a bit more effusive when addressing Messi, via Football.Espana:

“I have read whether to make a cage or not, but we need the collective game to combat someone like him, and it is not just him,” Gattuso said. “He is the best in the world, for how he has lived his entire career. He is always perfect, never a misplaced word, he is an example for everyone. He does things that I only see on the PlayStation. He has an incredible quality and for years he has been the best of all-time.”

Both matches kick off at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday.