Transfer Rumor Roundup: Sane close to Bayern, Grealish to Man United still on

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While everyone is struggling through the coronavirus shutdown that has left world soccer at a standstill, one positive stemming from the recent events is the opportunity for injured players to heal while games are halted.

Leroy Sane has missed the entire season thus far with an ACL tear after going down in his very first action of the campaign in August. Sane had been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich and while time was running out on his chance to secure a switch in the summer, he was no doubt close to a future move that could have happened in the winter had it not been for his injury in the Community Shield.

Those rumors are ramping up again with the soccer season on hold and the summer fast approaching. According to a report by The Mirror, Sane has continued to refuse a contract extension as his agents work on a move to Bayern this summer or whenever the upcoming transfer window ends up opening. The report states that the German side has not been deterred by his ACL injury, and instead views it as a positive, allowing them to knock the price down to around $87 million, which the report claims is half what they would have paid last summer.

The coronavirus shutdown has also made its way into the rumored Jack Grealish transfer to Manchester United, with the player’s actions while supposedly in government-mandated lockdown potentially upsetting his suitors. However, according to a report by ESPN FC’s Rob Dawson, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the Manchester United transfer team is not deterred by Grealish’s stubborn disobedience of the lockdown, for which he was forced to apologize after crashing his car on the way home from a late night party.

Much regarding this transfer relies on the potential finishing of the Premier League season given Aston Villa is in a relegation battle. Some reports suggest that Villa could be persuaded to keep Grealish should they secure Premier League safety, but Dawson’s report states that Manchester United believes that not to be the case, and their fight to bring the 24-year-old playmaker to Old Trafford remains on even if Villa stays up.

With Grealish under contract at Aston Villa through the summer of 2023, the midfielder reportedly would cost Manchester United over $75 million and according to Dawson is “more attainable” than Leicester City’s James Maddison, although it is unclear if that tag is due to price or availability.

Jose Mourinho had clearly been enamored with Serge Aurier when he took the Tottenham job, but his opinion of the 27-year-old right-back may have soured of late, dropping him to the bench for two of the last three matches before the shutdown struck. A mix of injuries and inconsistent form has been rampant during his Spurs stay so far, and according to French publication L’Equipe (via Get French Football News), a replacement could be on the way.

The report states that Tottenham has “intensified negotiations” with Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier, and while the player apparently wishes to remain in the French capital, PSG manager Thomas Tuchel has other ideas. Meunier has been a regular starter for PSG for most of this season, but missed occasional time with various injuries and suspensions. PSG is extremely thin at right-back, with 21-year-old academy product Colin Dagba the only other option at the moment, but the report states that with PSG brass in talks with other players, Meunier could be headed out. The Belgian international has been linked to both West Ham and Borussia Dortmund in the recent past, but now Spurs looks to be the leading option.

On the other side of North London, Arsenal is also looking at options for the upcoming transfer window. A report by speculative tabloid Football Insider, picked up by the Daily Mail, states that the Gunners have their eye on developing Feyenoord teenager Lamare Bogarde and could pounce with other clubs like AC Milan, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, and even Spurs all keeping an eye on the 16-year-old. Bogarde is a center-back with flexibility at defensive midfield, and while he has yet to make his first-team debut, he has been playing for Feyenoord’s U-17 side this season. Bogarde has the Premier League in his blood, being the nephew of former Chelsea and Barcelona defender Winston Bogarde.

Back at Manchester City, with Sane potentially on his way out another fringe player is also considering his options. The Manchester Evening News has compiled a rundown of reported thoughts on full-back Joao Cancelo, and with the 25-year-old already on his fifth club in the last six years, the writeup suggests that his mentality may not be up for the fight at the Etihad. Cancelo has not logged 1,000 Premier League minutes yet this season and may struggle to do so should the season resume, with just 11 appearances thus far while stuck behind Kyle Walker. Still, Pep Guardiola has given him chances in the Champions League, with four full 90-minute performances in the group stage.

Cancelo has a reputation as a “feisty” player, as the MEN calls it, and while that promised to give Walker a run for his money when Cancelo arrived this past summer from Juventus, that has not come to pass and he may wish to look for chances elsewhere rather than continue to push for more playing time where he is.

Finally, Adam Lallana was reportedly offered to AC Milan on a free transfer with his contract expiring this summer, but according to tabloid Calciomercato, the Serie A side turned down the opportunity. The 31-year-old has been given chances to show his worth down the stretch off the bench with Liverpool owning a huge Premier League lead, and he has impressed in that span as a central midfielder, but that has apparently not been enough to convince those at the San Siro.

Manchester United release statement as Mason Greenwood charges dropped

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UPDATE (Feb. 2, 2023): Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has seen charges of attempted rape and assault against him dropped, just over a year after he was arrested and later suspended indefinitely by the Premier League club.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it was no longer realistic to convict Greenwood after the “withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light.”

Greenwood, 21, was arrested in January 2022 after a woman released disturbing photos and audio alleging physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the England national team forward.

[ MORE: Chelsea signs Enzo Fernandez in record deal ]

“We are aware of images and allegations circulating on social media,” United said after his arrest in January 2022. “We will not make any further comment until the facts have been established. Manchester United does not condone violence of any kind.”

Greenwood was then kept in custody into February as police conducted an investigation and released on Feb. 3, 2022. Greenwood has remained suspended by United.

Manchester United statement on Mason Greenwood

United released a statement on Thursday after learning that the charges were dropped:

“Manchester United notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped.

“The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.”

Greenwood has six goals and two assists in 24 matches for United this season and has 129 senior appearances for the club after coming through its academy. He’s earned one cap for England.

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace: How to watch, stream link, team news

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Manchester United looks to keep climbing up the Premier League table when its hosts improving Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET online via Premier League on Peacock).

United won all three of its cup matches since a Jan. 22 setback at Premier League leaders Arsenal, and now face Palace before two matches with Leeds

STREAM LIVE MANCHESTER UNITED vs CRYSTAL PALACE

Palace hasn’t won in 2023, though the Eagles managed back-to-back draws with Manchester United and Newcastle in their past two matches. Both of those were at Selhurst Park.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester United vs Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Manchester United vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
Online: Premier League on Peacock


Key storylines & star players

Man United’s lost Christian Eriksen through April but acted quick and in impressive fashion with the loan addition of Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich. Desperate for playing time and a more attacking role than what was asked of him by Bayern, the Austrian star may be just what the doctor ordered even before Eriksen went down. This is a hard-edged player with plenty of attcking firepower to boot.

Palace, of course, is still all about their creative players, as Wilfried Zaha, Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, and Odsonne Edouard can deliver the goods with just a half-chance, but look out for Deadline Day adds Albert Sambi Lokonga, on loan from Patrick Vieira’s former team Arsenal, and Naouirou Ahamada, who they hope will add a needed ball progressor in the heart of the pitch.


Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Jadon Sancho (undisclosed), Anthony Martial (undisclosed), Diogo Dalot (thigh), Luke Shaw (illness), Scott McTominay (undisclosed)

Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Wilfried Zaha (hamstring), Joachim Andersen (calf), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed), James McArthur (groin)

Everton vs Arsenal, live! How to watch, stream link, team news

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The first match of the Sean Dyche era at Everton is a visit from the leaders, as Arsenal visits Goodison Park on Saturday (watch live, 7:30am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

Dyche has been out of work since his time ended at Burnley last April, but he’ll have instant familiarity with Dwight McNeil, James Tarkowski, and Michael Keane.

So how’s it been around the club as he prepares to take hold of a team that isn’t Burnley for the first time since, thumbs through calendars… still thumbing…2011!

STREAM LIVE EVERTON vs ARSENAL

“A new voice, training ways, going about your business, building a bit of rapport,” Dyche said. “I had a good chat with a few players, not in an office kind of chat but speaking to them generally. Their careers, life, how they’re feeling, I always thought if you affect their lives you’ll affect their performance. It’s hard to do visa-versa, I’ve been honest with them. I’ve been down that, we did a Q+A session, I just wanted their feedback. What was the feedback? After that I shared it back with them, this is what we fed back ,what do you think? Gives us a chance to open it up a bit. We need to get to the truth of them, what we can offer, best thing to do is ask them – simple as that. Giving our feel, a different feel to understanding, that’s all. Hopefully they’ll respond and flourish. We’ve got to work, it can’t all be fluff, plenty of hard work this week.”

Former Everton star Mikel Arteta leads Arsenal into the affair with a five-point lead on Man City and a match-in-hand, but it’s also the first match since Arsenal fell 1-0 to City in an FA Cup match considered by many to be a first test for the leaders’ title hopes.

Everton sit 19th in the Premier League table, ahead of last-place Southampton by five goals in the goal difference column.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Everton vs Arsenal.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Everton vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Is this what Dwight McNeil has been waiting for after stop-start usage from Frank Lampard? He’s one of the key pieces to monitor when team news arrives Saturday.  Everton hasn’t played since Jan. 21, when it rolled out a 5-4-1 in a 2-0 loss to West Ham. Dyche hasn’t used five at the back since 2019, but this Arsenal team, man…

Arsenal enters having navigated the absence of Gabriel Jesus pretty darn nicely, thank you very much. Will Eddie Nketiah keep feasting off the playmaking of Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka?

Let’s just say Everton’s new manager bounce is going to have to include Flubber.


Everton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Michael Keane (knee), Nathan Patterson (knee), Andros Townsend (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Ben Godfrey (knee), James Garner (back)

Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Gabriel Jesus (knee), Reiss Nelson (thigh), Mohamed Elneny (knock) | QUESTIONABLE: Thomas Partey (chest), Emile Smith Rowe (thigh)

Chelsea vs Fulham, live: How to watch, stream link, team news, more

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Chelsea hosts Fulham on Friday for its first match since January 21, which is also its first match since breaking the British transfer record to purchase Enzo Fernandez from Benfica (watch live, 3pm ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

Fernandez may even feature for Chelsea, according to boss Graham Potter, who is coming off a 1-0 win over Palace and a nil-nil with Liverpool. All told, Chelsea could utilize a half-dozen of the nine players they signed in the January window.

STREAM LIVE CHELSEA vs FULHAM

So how has Chelsea been dealing with its long layoff? Here’s Graham Potter on Friday at the team’s training ground:

“We did some off-the-pitch activity, a bit of leadership and teamwork outside of this environment. But mostly it’s been training and working on the team and how we want to play. Of course, we’ve been integrating new players and getting injured players up to speed. So it’s a bit of everything really.”

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Chelsea vs Fulham.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Chelsea vs Fulham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3pm ET, Friday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Watch out for Chelsea, because the crew is getting healthier. To be fair, it’s difficult to have more injuries than Chelsea has had this year, but we digress. Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Raheem Sterling, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all ready to go, though Graham Potter said none of them are ready for 90 minutes. Wesley Fofana is close to a return, but should miss out, while Joao Felix could make his return. So, yeah, we could see Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Raheem Sterling on the pitch at the same time. Zoom, zoom, Fulham.

Marco Silva’s Cottagers have cooled off, at least in terms of results, since beating Chelsea at Craven Cottage on Jan. 12, the game in which Felix earned his red card. 1-0 losses to Newcastle and Spurs, forgivable, were followed up with a FA Cup draw with Sunderland. If Fulham can get through this, there’s a more forgiving run of fixtures ahead with a Sunderland replay, Forest, Brighton, Wolves, and Brentford. But is anything forgiving any more in the Premier League? Aleksandar Mitrovic, as usual, looms as a key piece of Fulham’s hopes.


Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Christian Pulisic (knee), Wesley Fofana (knee), Edouard Mendy (shoulder), Armando Broja (knee), Denis Zakaria (thigh)

Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Neeskens Kebano (achilles)