Transfer news: Maddison, White to Arsenal; Pellegrini to Liverpool


The latest transfer news sees James Maddison and Ben White to Arsenal feature heavily, while Lorenzo Pellegrini to Liverpool is a juicy one.

[ MORE: EURO 2020 hub ]

When it comes to the Gunners, they’ve been linked with so many players already this summer as Mikel Arteta aims for a squad overhaul.

As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has lost Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer and wants to replace him in midfield.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into some of these reports.

Maddison, White to the Gunners

It is clear that Arsenal are after a creative midfielder, central midfielder and help defensively, and two new names have popped up.

James Maddison to Arsenal and Ben White to Arsenal is now doing the rounds.

As for Maddison, a report from the Daily Express states that Arteta is a big fan of the Leicester City playmaker and he is their main target this summer, but Arsenal may not be able to afford the fee the Foxes want for the England international.

Per the report, a $97.3 million fee was rejected by Leicester last summer and Maddison only signed a new contract in 2020 until the summer of 2024.

Maddison showed glimpses of his brilliance last season as Leicester finished fifth in the Premier League and won the FA Cup, but he has been nowhere near Gareth Southgate’s England squad and perhaps this move would help him with that?

It’s unlikely that Arsenal will want to spend over $100 million on Maddison and given their finances will be hit after not qualifying for Europe, surely they will have cheaper options lined up.

Mexico star Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona has been mentioned, so too has Anderlecht youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga, while they also missed out on Emiliano Buendia as Aston Villa signed him instead.

Arsenal seem to be scrambling for new signings and perhaps they aren’t as attractive of a proposition as they once were. With Martin Odegaard heading back to Real Madrid, they want a creative midfielder but perhaps Arteta should put faith in academy products Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock to fill those roles? Just a thought.

New center back wanted

Regarding Ben White, our partners in the UK at Sky Sports believe that a $55 million bid from Arsenal has been turned down by Brighton.

Per the report, talks are ongoing and Arsenal will come back in with another offer.

The England defender, 23, has had a meteoric rise in recent seasons and is a surprise inclusion in the England squad for the European Championships.

White is versatile as he can play in defense or midfield and is comfortable on the ball. Many other top teams have been chasing White in recent months with Liverpool reportedly interested in the talented young center back.

With David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi moving on, Arteta will now focus on Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Gabriel and maybe William Saliba as his main center back options. Are they good enough to get Arsenal back into the top four hunt? Probably not.

Once again during a transfer window, the Gunners need to strengthen at center back and White is a rising star and a perfect fir for the possession-based system Arteta likes to play out of the back.

Pellegrini eyed by Klopp

In non-Arsenal news, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are working on signing a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum.

After losing the influential Dutch midfielder on a free transfer, it is believed that the Reds want to sign a replacement.

With Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain around, you’d think that Liverpool are set in central midfielder.

However, a report from Calciomercato states that Pellegrini is available for just $36 million due to his release clause as the Roma captain has only missed out on being in Italy’s EURO 2020 squad due to injury.

Pellegrini, 24, is a box-to-box central midfielder and would be a perfect, and relatively cheap, replacement for Wijnaldum.

After signing Ibrahima Konate to add extra options at center back, Klopp has already done some business this summer and the way Liverpool ended last season, you can see them starting the 2021-22 campaign really well.

Pellegrini is a wanted man and although this would be a good move for Liverpool, would he play a lot for Klopp’s side?

Man City vs Man United: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Manchester City vs Manchester United: Erling Haaland is set for his Manchester derby debut when the two-time defending champions host the rapidly improving Red Devils at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on Peacock Premium). 


Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm with an absurd 11 goals scored in his first seven games after (ostensibly) choosing Man City over Man United before leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Six weeks ago, Manchester United had not a single point from their first two games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of tiny Brentford, but Erik ten Hag has since switched tactical course en route to four straight wins, including a 3-1 victory over PL leaders Arsenal last time out, to set up this hugely intriguing showdown on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Man City vs Man United

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

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

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines & star players

Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?

As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

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WATCH: Lionel Messi spins gorgeous free kick goal past Nice’s Schmeichel


Lionel Messi got the better of Kasper Schmeichel with an outstanding free kick as Paris Saint-Germain outlasted Nice 2-1 on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.

The world’s greatest scorer was fouled to set up a free kick just inside the arc. Nice, of course, got into a wall and former Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel arranged it to his liking.

As he does so many times, however, Messi spun a free kick just over the wall. The ball, which came so close to taking a slight turn off a leaping wall member (actually, did it?), tumbled down and right into the side netting to give PSG a 1-0 lead before the match was a half-hour old.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi scores relentless Groningen goal ]

Gaetan Laborde tied the match before halftime, and Nice’s revamped roster looked set to hold tight for a point (The club’s signed familiar Premier League names Schmeichel, Ross Barkley, Aaron Ramsey, and Mario Lemina).

Even that wouldn’t be enough, though, as Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to replace young Hugo Ekitike to finish a Nordi Mukiele assist for a 2-1 win.

PSG has eight wins and a draw this season, good for a two-point lead on second-place Marseille. Messi has five goals and a joint-league-best seven assists, tied with Neymar. Mbappe and Neymar are tied for the league goals lead with eight.

Lionel Messi free kick goal video

USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi defies xG with relentless goal (video)


USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi’s goal while trying to will Groningen back into an eventual 4-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar on Saturday will not be one of the expected variety.

The 19-year-old striker, on loan from Augsburg, ran onto an audacious long pass from 20-year-old defender Neraysho Kasanwirjo but had plenty of work to do with AZ leading 2-0.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez scores audacious overhead goal ]

Pepi sees one defender fall in a race to the ball, then bodies up AZ’s Sam Beukema a little outside the six-yard box.

Hand-to-hand combat sees both players hit the turf, and Pepi probably could won a penalty.

But the World Cup hopeful spins while on the pitch and snaps a shot past charging AZ goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst to make it 2-1.

Video after the jump.

Ricardo Pepi

Ricardo Pepi goal video: Fantastic start to Groningen loan

Pepi now has a goal or an assist in his first three Eredivisie outings, not unlike his fantastic start to life in a USMNT shirt.

His goal contributions have taken a dive since his first two USMNT matches — World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Jamaica — and he only has one assist from the following 10 outings in a U.S. shirt.

Still, Pepi is clearly one of Gregg Berhalter’s favorite options for the upcoming World Cup, and his performances will be measured against Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok, FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira, and others.

In a tournament where every moment matters, his work for this scrappy finish will be well-noted by the USMNT staff.

Josef Martinez scores vicious overhead kick in Atlanta United loss (video)


If this is the last goal of Josef Martinez’s (likely) final season with Atlanta United, it will be very appropriate.

So for Martinez, even in a losing effort, to go airborne for an overhead kick that is a simply sensational feat of athleticism and power, well, it just feels right.

The 29-year-old Venezuelan forward joined the Five Stripes in 2017 in what seemed a massive capture for the club at the time and now seems downright gargantuan, but he’s fallen out with current manager Gonzalo Pineda and was even suspended for a match last month.

[ MORE: West Ham beats Wolves | Klopp reacts to latest setback ]

Martinez has nine goals and four assists in an injury-abbreviated 25-game season, giving him 111 goals in 156 appearances for ATL UTD. The former Torino and Young Boys striker is still being capped for Venezuela and would leave with an MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup as well as a boatload of individual honors.

Atlanta lost 2-1 to New England on Saturday and returns home for their season finale next weekend versus New York City FC. The Five Stripes won’t make the playoffs unless at least two teams decide not to field teams, so if the NYCFC game doesn’t go well, let’s pretend this one was his final appearance for the club.