Partey to Arsenal
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Transfer news: Partey to Arsenal; James to Man United

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In the latest transfer news Thomas Partey is once again linked with Arsenal, while James Rodriguez has been linked with Manchester United.

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Starting in north London, Thomas Partey remains a top target for the Gunners and a move to Arsenal is reportedly in the works.

According to a report from the Guardian, Arsenal have had a second bid for Partey rejected by Atletico Madrid as Mikel Arteta is keen to sign the holding midfielder to add extra solidity to his new-look Gunners side.

Per the report, Arsenal offered cash plus Matteo Guendouzi for Partey but Atletico Madrid want the full $58.6 million release clause in Partey’s contract. Atleti want Partey to sign a new contract as he has two years left on his remaining deal.

With Dani Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid soon to be over, plus the futures of Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira unclear, that leaves Granit Xhaka as Arsenal’s only defensive-minded central midfielder.

Partey, 27, is one of the best holding midfielders in Europe and Arsenal may struggled to get a deal done for the Ghanian star unless they include Alexandre Lacazette in the deal. Given the reported financial constraints at Arsenal due to the coronavirus pandemic and not qualifying for the Champions League for a third-straight season, the only way they can bring players in is by selling key talents such as Lacazette and top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Getting the balance right is key for Arteta as Arsenal have some great attacking talents but defensively they continue to make big mistakes.

James Rodriguez to Manchester United
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Heading to Manchester, it has been reported that James Rodriguez to Manchester United could finally happen.

According to the Daily Express, James is available for $37.4 million this summer as he has just one year remaining on his Real Madrid contract. It is believed Man United will open talks next week about a move for James.

James, 29, has been a bit-part player at Real Madrid for many seasons and his two-year loan at Bayern Munich went well but not well enough for the German giants to buy him permanently. He has played 14 times for Real this season, scoring once.

Per the report, the Colombian star wants the move to Man United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to add extra depth and experience to his side. With Alexis Sanchez on loan at Inter Milan, shouldn’t they just bring him back?

Also, this signing would go against pretty much all of the values Solskjaer has talked about when it comes to having a young, hungry squad. That said, James would be an upgrade on Jesse Lingard, Daniel James and Juan Mata as their secondary striking options, while Odion Ighalo is only on loan until January 2021.

With Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in attack, plus Jadon Sancho possible arriving, could James Rodriguez be sitting on the bench at Man United just like he was at Real Madrid?

Everton reportedly agrees Doucoure fee as Ancelotti strikes again

Doucoure to Everton
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Carlo Ancelotti is not messing around.

The Everton manager is nearing medicals for Napoli star Allan and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, and Wednesday took yet another step toward unlocking a world of midfield options for the Toffees.

That step is the $31 million purchase of Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, who would move to the blue side of Merseyside pending personal terms and a medical.

[ MORE: Man Utd announces Van de Beek ]

The move(s) would give Everton an array of versatile midfielders, with Doucoure bringing 17 goals and 12 assists in 129 Premier League outings with Watford.

We have clues on how Ancelotti likes to use two of those players, Allan and James, having managed them at Napoli and Real/Bayern, respectively.

Rodriguez’s best Real season came under Ancelotti, and the Colombian was used as a winger in 16 matches and a midfielder, attacking or more central, on another 13.

Allan is a defensively-sound player with some attacking upside while Doucoure can play up-and-down the center of the park.

The club also has Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fabian Delph, and Tom Davies among its midfield options and will eventually have promising but injury-struck Jean-Philippe Gbamin back in the fold.

Does Ancelotti view James as a winger and have a plan to stick with a 4-4-2, or might he look to a 4-3-3 with Gomes or Doucoure next to Allan underneath James?

It could take some time for the new pieces to meld with the existing Toffees given the season’s start is less than 2 weeks away, but imagine an attack-minded 4-3-3 like this:

Richarlison — Calvert-Lewin — James Rodriguez

Allan — Doucoure — Gomes

Digne — Holgate — Keane — Coleman


Or a 4-3-1-2 (4-4-2) closer to this:

Calvert-Lewin — Richarlison

James Rodriguez

Allan — Doucoure — Gomes

Digne — Holgate — Keane — Coleman


Ancelotti also loves himself a nice 4-4-2, which could work with Rodriguez wide right, Gomes or Doucoure dropped to the bench, and a new option at left mid (maybe a mix of young Anthony Gordon, who recently signed a new deal, and Gylfi Sigurdsson):

Calvert-Lewin — Richarlison

 Gordon — Allan — Doucoure — James Rodriguez

Digne — Holgate — Keane — Coleman


Pickford is amongst the only question marks after another rough year for the ex-Sunderland man. There have been rumors linking Everton with longtime Manchester United backup Sergio Romero, as the weak links above aren’t difficult to identify.

This is a good team, maybe a top six challenger if Calvert-Lewin, Gomes, and Holgate can find the next level.


Transfer news: Van de Beek to Man Utd; Ndombele out at Spurs

Man United transfer news
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Today’s Premier League transfer news includes a Donny van de Beek – Man United move, Tanguy Ndombele’s departure from Spurs, and James Rodriguez set to join Everton…

[ MORE: Messi skips preseason; $833-million release clause must be paid ]

Man United, Real Madrid battling for Van de Beek

Presumably, Manchester United will sign someone this summer. So far, the Red Devils have only been linked with half the world’s best players under the sun, but not a single player has arrived at Old Trafford as of yet. The latest budding superstar reportedly drawing interest is Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek. The 23-year-old has been a stalwart for the Eredivisie side since breaking into the first team in 2016. Unfortunately for United, they’re not the only ones interested. Real Madrid, who have every bit the desperate need for an injection of youth in midfield — perhaps even more so — are also sniffing around.

Spurs want top-dollar for Ndombele

Inter Milan want Ndombele, Jose Mourinho would be happy to see Ndombele leave, and Ndombele probably wants out of his current situation, so what’s the hold-up to satisfy all involved parties? Money, of course. Daniel Levy reportedly wants to recoup every bit of the $73 million Spurs paid for the French midfielder just one year ago, and Inter are unwilling — maybe unable — to pay that much. Previous reports claimed that Inter were also willing to include star center back Milan Skriniar as part of the deal to sign Ndombele.

[ MORE: Transfer news: Messi wants Pep reunion; Donnarumma to Chelsea ]

James, Allan to have medicals at Everton

Everton are reportedly closing in on signing a pair of rather expensive 29-year-old South Americans in James Rodriguez, from Real Madrid, and Allan, from Napoli. Coincidentally, Madrid and Napoli are two of the last three clubs managed by current Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti. The pair are set to have medicals at Goodison Park early this week, paving the way for official announcements shortly thereafter. Rodriguez’s move is expected to be a loan for the final year of his current contract, while Allan will reportedly cost the Toffees $33 million.

Holding heading to Newcastle

Rob Holding will likely have to go out on loan to get the game time he requires following the arrival of Gabriel at Arsenal. Newcastle United could use another sturdy center back — what mid-table-to-bottom-half side couldn’t? — thus a deal is reportedly close to being agreed for Holding to spend the 2020-21 season at St. James’ Park.

Man Utd shocked by advantageous Burnley

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Manchester United never showed up at Old Trafford, and Burnley reaped all the benefits.

Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez scored as the Clarets stunned the Red Devils 2-0 on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

United fails to take advantage of Chelsea’s draw with Arsenal, and sits six points back of the Top Four.

Burnley climbs seven points clear of the drop zone, level with five teams on 30 points.

Three things we learned

1. Wood shines up top: It was a 10th goal to go with his first assist of the season for the New Zealand international, who used a half-yard of space from Harry Maguire to put Burnley in front. Burnley’s philosophy is to find their forwards at all cost, and when Wood is delivering that ethos looks genius.

2. United’s absent wings cost it dear (and jeer): Juan Mata and Anthony Martial were lively, but both Daniel James and Andreas Pereira did little to inspire hope of a goal for the home side. The Red Devils were the focus of crowd derision on the day, as they again wasted a chance to improve their Top Four credentials. Most teams will suffer without their top two attackers, but this is Manchester United. Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford missing or not, Wednesday was iugly stuff.

3. Jay Rodriguez’s new nickname is “Bangers Only”: Joking aside, it’s difficult to remember Rodriguez goals that don’t get you out of your seat. His insurance goal absolutely buried United, and gives him seven across all competitions. It also gives Sean Dyche plenty of competition in training, with Ashley Barnes on the periphery.

Man of the Match: Wood

United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka cut a promising 15th minute cross through the 18, but no teammate could get a foot to it.

Fred continued his lively play when he hit a low drive to Nick Pope in the 23rd, good endeavor without the required sharpness.

Daniel James forced Pope into a leaping save in the 32nd, and Martial couldn’t get his feet right when Nemanja Matic rolled him to the doorstep in the 34th.

Burnley took the lead out of absolute nothing, Wood taking advantage of Harry Maguire when Ben Mee flicked a long free kick to the Kiwi.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Rodriguez went bar down with a beauty in the 57th minute to make it 2-0, and real trouble arrived at Old Trafford.

Transfer news: James to Everton, Doherty to Tottenham

Doherty to Tottenham
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Will Colombian star James Rodriguez finally make his Premier League debut?

[ MORE: Chelsea spends big on Chilwell ]

Will Jose Mourinho buy a player who scored against his side last season?

Those are our key rumors from Wednesday’s PL rumor mill.

James Rodriguez to Everton

Carlo Ancelotti and James Rodriguez would like to be reunited at Goodison Park, writes The Liverpool Echo, but it’s not a simple move.

Real Madrid would love James’ wages off the books, but the Colombian would need to take a significant pay cut to move from the Bernabeu to Merseyside.

James has 18 goals and 19 assists in 51 appearances under Ancelotti, most of them coming at Real. He had a goal and an assist in his only Bundesliga start for Bayern, which came nine days before the Italian was fired.

He’s put up numbers wherever he’s gone and has a goal and five assists in his last 10 caps for Colombia. A fresh start with a friendly boss would be a great way to see if the 29-year-old could fully realize his star potential.

James has also been linked to Manchester United and MLS side Inter Miami but the Everton links are even older.

James Rodriguez to Everton
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Doherty to Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho would love to see Wolves right back Matt Doherty make the move to North London.

Doherty, 28, would bring nine Republic of Ireland caps to Spurs and a starring presence on the right side, where Mourinho often deployed Serge Aurier last season. Doherty is 11 months older than Aurier.

The Portuguese boss also played plenty of four at the back, while countryman Nuno Espirito Santo used Doherty almost exclusively in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 (a 5-4-1 also popping up on occasion).

Doherty scored in Wolves’ 3-2 defeat of Spurs on March 1, lapping up a Japhet Tanganga error from in-tight. The Irishman loves to get forward and into the mix.

Spurs sold Kyle Walker-Peters to Southampton and Japhet Tanganga can play some right back but Mourinho needs cover if not competition for Aurier.

Wolves want around $25 million for Doherty while Spurs are said to want a fee with significant add-ons. The Athletic says a compromise is getting closer and $18 million could get it done.