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Transfer rumor roundup: Berge to Liverpool, Giroud to Milan

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Liverpool have been linked with a January move for Sander Berge from Genk, as Norwegian outlets VG report he is also being monitored by Chelsea and Napoli.

The Norwegian midfielder, 21, is seen as a player who can develop into a top holding midfielder and with Fabinho set for a spell on the sidelines due to ankle ligament damage, it is believed the Premier League leaders are looking to add extra options in defensive midfield.

Even if Fabinho comes back quicker than expected the Reds still look short in holding midfield as James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all more comfortable playing in more advanced midfield roles.

Long-term this move would make sense, but short-term it doesn’t much that much sense. Fabinho will be back in the team in early 2020 and Liverpool have enough in midfield to cope without him. Berge has obviously impressed Liverpool with his displays against them in the UEFA Champions League this season and he’s a very similar player to Fabinho.


Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has been linked with a January move to AC Milan as the Frenchman has seen his playing time with the Blues severely limited this season.

According to the Daily Mail, Giroud is set for talks with Chelsea about his future and is keen to move in January. Italian outlet Calcio Mercato believe AC Milan and Inter Milan have been offered the chance to sign Giroud for a small fee ahead of his contract expiring at Chelsea in the summer.

Giroud, 33, is still a regular for France but has lost his place in the Chelsea team to Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi has been the go-to man off the bench for Frank Lampard this season. Giroud made his first PL start at the weekend but failed to impress as Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to West Ham.

AC Milan are said to be close to re-signing free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so that could complicate any move for Giroud. He was crucial in Chelsea’s Europa League success last season but he only scored five PL goals for the Blues since arriving from Arsenal in January 2018 and it is clear he doesn’t fit into Lampard’s plans.

Chelsea’s manager wants a mobile striker and Abraham provides that. Giroud is still a fine finisher and in the right team he’d been a great pick up in January.

Michael Bradley re-signs with Toronto FC

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Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley has re-signed with the Major League Soccer franchise.

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Bradley, 32, saw his previous contract run out at the end of the 2019 season but he has now agreed a new deal with the Canadian side and Toronto have squeezed him into their salary cap by using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

During his six season stint so far in Toronto, Bradley has led the team to three MLS Cup finals as TFC stunned MLS with a run to the final against Seattle in 2019. They lost on that occasion but beat Seattle in 2017 and Bradley’s displays, along with that of Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and now Alejandro Pozuelo have seen Toronto become one of the most consistent teams in MLS.

Explaining his reasons for signing a new deal in Toronto, Bradley revealed that he wants to take them onto bigger and better things.

“I feel so attached to the city of Toronto, the club, the team. I love it here and I am really proud of what we’ve been able to do over the past six years,” Bradley said. “Beyond the success, I am equally as proud of the mentality and identity this club has taken on. The relationship between the club and the city, the club and the fans are both very special and I’m proud to have played a part in that. What we have in Toronto doesn’t exist everywhere. My family and I are so happy to remain in Toronto and we’d like to thank everyone at Toronto FC for ensuring that this process was done quietly and professionally behind the scenes. I’m looking forward to continuing to play in the biggest games and competing for trophies every year.”

Bradley still has plenty left in the tank, as last season showed, and despite rumors that he would link up with his father, Bob Bradley, at LAFC, he is staying in Ontario.

That’s great news for Toronto FC as despite plenty of criticism from USMNT fans over recent years, Bradley has continued to deliver consistency and leadership at BMO Field.

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Our latest Premier League player Power Rankings have landed.

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Matchweek 16 followed a similar pattern to recent weeks as players from Liverpool, Leicester City, Spurs and Man United dominated our top 20 with so many games played over the last seven days.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1.  Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – Even
2. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) – Up 7
3. Marcus Rashford (Man United) – New entry
4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – New entry
5. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Up 6
6. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle) – New entry
7. Jonny Evans (Leicester) – New entry
8. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Down 4
9. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) – New entry
10. Danny Ings (Southampton) – New entry
11. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man United) – New entry
12. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Down 2
13. Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester) – Even
14. Dele Alli (Tottenham) – Down 11
15. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Down 10
16. Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – Down 3
17. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – Down 1
18. Anthony Martial (Man United) – New entry
19. Diogo Jota (Wolves) – New entry
20. Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) – New entry

Christian Pulisic named USMNT Player of the Year

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Who else could it be? Christian Pulisic has been named the USMNT player of the year for 2019.

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The Chelsea star, 21, excelled for club and country over the past 12 months and after taking a few months to settle into life in England, he’s now taking the Premier League by storm on a weekly basis.

Pulisic has now won this award for a second time after first winning it in 2017 and he becomes the youngest player in U.S. men’s national team history to win the award twice.

His achievements over the last 12 months are numerous, as he dragged a struggling USMNT to the 2019 Gold Cup final and also became the youngest player to reach double figures in goals for the USMNT.

MLS veteran Sacha Kljestan signs with hometown LA Galaxy

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Carson, Calif. (AP) Veteran midfielder Sacha Kljestan has signed with the LA Galaxy as a free agent.

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The 34-year-old U.S. national team contributor officially returned to his native Southern California on Wednesday.

Kljestan has scored 49 goals over 10 MLS seasons in a career that began as the fifth overall pick by defunct Chivas USA, the Galaxy’s former stadium partners. After a successful five-year stint with Belgium’s Anderlecht, he spent the past five seasons with New York Red Bulls and Orlando City.

The Huntington Beach native also has made 51 appearances for the U.S. team, playing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Kljestan will provide veteran leadership for a Galaxy roster in transition after the departures of its top two goal-scorers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Uriel Antuna.

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