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Transfer rumor roundup: Pogba to Juve; Felix to Man City

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The Premier League transfer window is officially open again and that means one thing: transfer reports are going to start kicking up a few notches.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Here’s a look at some of the latest gossip from around the PL…


Corriere dello Sport in Italy say that Paul Pogba has agreed to move back to his former club Juventus, but the Italian champions will need to sell plenty of players to sign the Manchester United midfielder.

Pogba, 26, joined United from Juve in the summer of 2016 for $110 million but has had a topsy-turvy second spell at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho and now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

With Solskjaer linked with moves for multiple central midfielders already during the transfer window, it appears that if a suitable deal to move Pogba on can be made, he will be able to leave United.

Juve will reportedly look to move on Mario Mandzukic, Joao Cancelo, Juan Cuadrado and Mattia Perin to fund the move, but there will be no rush on the move as they don’t currently have a manger. Maurizio Sarri is expected to leave Chelsea to take charge of Juve in the coming days, and then Juve will be able to kick on with the transfer business for the summer.

If United can get back most of the $110 million they spent on Pogba, that would be a very good deal. In an ideal world they would get a little cash and maybe Paulo Dybala in exchange for Pogba. Although his displays picked up when Mourinho departed and Solskjaer arrived, the Frenchman’s form regressed at the end of the season and he really is at a crossroads in his career.

Does he stay at United and lead their rebuild and a possible return to glory? Or does he return to Juve where he can help them challenged for the European title alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and settle for the relative safety of winning Serie A year in, year out?


Portuguese teenager Joao Felix is one of the hottest properties in world soccer and Manchester City is pushing ahead with their attempts to sign the Benfica midfielder.

Benfica’s chairman has admitted that Felix could be sold this summer, and Portuguese newspaper Record say that Man City have offered wages in excess of $33.7 million over five years. Wowza.

The attacking midfielder is said to have a release clause of $133.1 million, but neither City nor Man United, who are also in the hunt for Felix, have triggered that clause.

Felix, 19, was part of Portugal’s squad which won the UEFA Nations League over the weekend and his attacking prowess, close control and worth ethic means he is perfect for Pep Guardiola‘s style of play. In many ways he’s a younger Bernardo Silva, and with David Silva not getting any younger and Phil Foden yet to fully flourish into a first team regular, this is an area where City could strengthen.

The figures are eye-watering but Felix is one of the best young talents in Europe and if City want to continue their domination they have to sign players of his ilk. With Leroy Sane potentially heading out of the door this summer, the transfer fee may not be as daunting as it seems right now.

Ronaldo hat trick puts Portugal in final

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It’s kinda what he does, you know, scoring huge goals?

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Portugal clinched a spot in the inaugural UEFA Nations League Final with a 3-1 defeat of Switzerland on Wednesday at the Estadio do Dragao.

[ MORE: Premier League VAR details ]

Ronaldo’s match-winner came in the 88th minute off a feed from Bernardo Silva, and then the Portuguese megastar cooked Manuel Akanji en route to a 90th minute insurance goal.

Ricardo Rodriguez scored a penalty kick for Switzerland’s lone goal.

Ronaldo’s performance came on the same day that the American lawsuit filed against Ronaldo for rape was moved to federal court.

The first goal was wonderful, a free kick sent through the wall after Ronaldo was fouled to win the opportunity, though it came after Bruno Fernandes was somehow not sent off for a sliding studs-up challenge. To be fair to Portugal, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka could also have been sent off minutes later for a two-footed challenge.

The goals were the 86th, 87th, and 88th of his Portugal senior career.

And really the performance saved the story line, which would’ve been all about VAR after a penalty awarded to Portugal was never given thanks to a video review which nullified the foul in order to give a dodgy penalty to the Swiss.

That in itself had a measure of fairness, as the Swiss were the better team on the day. They just didn’t have Cristiano Ronaldo.

Report: Man City turns down Bayern bid for Leroy Sane

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According to a report by The Guardian, Manchester City has turned down a sizable $89 million bid from German champions Bayern Munich for winger Leroy Sane.

Guardian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that he expects Bayern to seriously consider coming back with a larger bid as the club looks to pry Sane from the back-to-back Premier League champions. Sane’s contract expires in the summer of 2021, meaning with two years left on his deal, this would be the time for City to sell at top dollar.

[ MORE: Thursday Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

The 23-year-old has struggled for playing time at Manchester City over the past season, a fact which could work in Bayern’s favor. While he has racked up 63 Premier League appearances over the two championship seasons, Sane saw his minutes drop from over 2,400 last season to just 1,867 this past campaign, often used as a substitute late in games. He was especially under-utilized towards the end of the season as the team fought with Liverpool for the title, left as an unused substitute just as often as he made the starting lineup after January – five times.

Still, according to the report, Manchester City desperately wants to keep Sane at the Etihad. Pep Guardiola confirmed after the FA Cup final that the club has offered Sane a contract extension recently, saying, “We offered to extend his contract. We want him to stay. What proof is more than for six, seven months we want to extend his contract? If we don’t want him, we don’t extend his contract.”

Should Sane depart, Manchester City still sports outstanding depth on the wing, with Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Fabian Delph, and David Silva all capable of playing out wide.

Bayern Munich is hoping to replace the departing duo of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, both of whom are leaving the club at the expiration of their contracts. Kingsley Coman is a good bet to earn more playing time on the left and Serge Gnabry has impressed on the right, with both players under the age of 24, but Coman has struggled with injury problems in the past and Gnabry has a small sample size of success at the highest level.

Sane has experience in the Bundesliga, arriving at Manchester City in the summer of 2016 from German side Schalke, making 47 German top-flight appearances for the club before his departure.

Man City win FA Cup, seal historic domestic treble (video)

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  • Man City first-ever English team to win domestic treble
  • Silva, Jesus, De Bruyne, Sterling score
  • Watford miss first half chances
  • 50 wins on the season for City

LONDON — Manchester City have done something no other team has managed in the history of men’s soccer in England.

Pep Guardiola‘s side beat Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday to win complete the domestic treble, as they added the FA Cup to the League Cup and Premier League trophies they already won this season.

The winning margin also equalled the highest-ever in an FA Cup final, as Bury beat Derby County 6-0 back in 1903.

David Silva and Gabriel Jesus each scored in the first half against a spirited Watford side who missed several chances, while Kevin De Bruyne, Jesus and then Sterling (twice) all added goals in the second half to complete the rout.

City’s fans were in party mood at Wembley, as Guardiola’s men completed one of the greatest seasons in English soccer history. A sea of sky blue celebrated throughout, as the only blemish on their campaign was their agonizingly narrow UEFA Champions League quarterfinal defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Enjoy this City side as long as you can, because we are witnessing history on a weekly basis with them. Monday’s trophy parade in Manchester will be quite the occasion, as Guardiola’s side get to show off their silverware.

The first big chance of the game fell to City as Bernardo Silva got to the byline but his ball into the six-yard box was cleared before Jesus could pounce.

Watford then had a glorious chance to go ahead in the 11th minute as a counter attack set Roberto Pereyra clean through on goal but Ederson stood up to the last second and made a superb stop with his legs.

City controlled the tempo of the game but Watford were dangerous on the break, as another chance fell to Pereyra and he managed to scoop the ball to Abdoulaye Doucoure. His shot was blocked by Vincent Kompany as the ball deflected on his arm but no penalty kick was given by referee Kevin Friend, much to the annoyance of Watford.

David Silva then put City ahead as Raheem Sterling caused Watford problems and won a header before Silva first won another duel, then latched onto the loose ball as his shot deflected off Kiko Femenia and into the far corner to put the Premier League champions 1-0 up.

Before the break Man City doubled their lead as Bernardo Silva’s teasing ball to the back post picked out Jesus brilliantly.

With Gomes stranded in goal after coming off his line, the Brazilian striker hooked the ball goalwards  and Sterling smashed home to make sure even though the ball had already gone over the line. 2-0 to City, who had one hand on the FA Cup trophy.

Watford started brightly in the second half but Man City then hit them on the break as Gomes denied fellow Brazilian Jesus to keep the Hornets in the game.

From the resulting corner Jesus headed home but he was in an offside position, and then Watford continued to press to find a way back into the game. After Aymeric Laporte had headed wide the Hornets broke free but Deulofeu scuffed his shot harmlessly wide as it was that kind of day for Watford.

City then completed their historic feat by launching a rapid counter attack as Jesus won the ball and was then played in by Sterling before setting up De Bruyne to slot home.

De Bruyne then returned the favor as he set Jesus free and he waited until the last moment to slot home under Gomes and wheel away in delight.

Watford kept trying to push forward and that left gaps for City to exploit, as Bernardo Silva then crossed for Sterling to slot home a fifth goal.

Sterling then scored his second and City’s second as he reacted to his own shot which hit the post.

John Stones was denied a seventh late on as Gomes produced a fantastic save down low.

City could have scored a few more late on, as Guardiola’s boys completed the domestic treble with minimum fuss.

Ranking top 10 Premier League players at each position

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There are 25 players in each Premier League squad, but who not only starred for their respective clubs but also elevated themselves to the upper echelons of the league this season?

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

We pondered that as we analyzed those who rose to the challenge best over the past nine months.

Below is a look at our complete list of the top 10 players in each position based on their play during the 2018-19 campaign.


Goalkeepers
1. Ederson
2. Alisson
3. David De Gea
4. Kepa
5. Ben Foster
6. Lukasz Fabianski
7. Hugo Lloris
8. Jordan Pickford
9. Rui Patricio
10. Martin Dubravka


Right backs
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold
2. Matt Doherty
3. Aaron Wan-Bissaka
4. Cesar Azpilicueta
5. Ricardo Perreira
6. Kyle Walker
7. Seamus Coleman
8. Kiko Femenia
9. Pablo Zabaleta
10. Yan Valery


Left backs
1. Andrew Robertson
2. Lucas Digne
3. Ben Chilwell
4. Luke Shaw
5. Jonny Otto
6. Patrick Van Aanholt
7. Ben Davies
8. Nacho Monreal
9. Jose Holebas
10. Emerson Palmeri


Center backs
1. Virgil Van Dijk
2. Aymeric Laporte
3. Toby Alderweireld
4. Jan Vertonghen
5. Vincent Kompany
6. Sokratis
7. Antonio Rudiger
8. Conor Coady
9. Michael Keane
10. Issa Diop


Central midfielders
1. Fernandinho
2. Joao Moutinho
3. Moussa Sissoko
4. David Silva
5. Jordan Henderson
6. Andre Gomes
7. Abdoulaye Doucoure
8. Fabinho
9. N'Golo Kante
10. Youri Tielemans


Attacking midfielders
1. Eden Hazard
2. Bernardo Silva
3. Kevin De Bruyne
4. Christian Eriksen
5. Gerard Deulofeu
6. Dele Alli
7. James Maddison
8. Gylfi Sigurdsson
9. Paul Pogba
10. Diogo Jota


Wingers
1. Raheem Sterling
2. Bernardo Silva
3. Sadio Mane
4. Mohamed Salah
5. Wilfried Zaha
6. Ryan Fraser
7. Pedro
8. Ryan Babel
9. David Brooks
10. Nathan Redmond


Strikers
1. Sergio Aguero
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
3. Harry Kane
4. Roberto Firmino
5. Alexandre Lacazette
6. Raul Jimenez
7. Heung-Min Son
8. Jamie Vardy
9. Marcus Rashford
10. Salomon Rondon