According to multiple reports in England, Mahrez is closer than ever to completing a long-reported $80 million transfer move to Manchester City, where he’ll join the Premier League champion as it looks to repeat in the league and finally win the UEFA Champions League.
The Leicester City midfielder, who is reportedly expected to sign a contract worth $13.8 million per season, was left behind in England as Leicester City traveled to Mahrez’s native France for preseason training. The Telegraph reported the move could be completed by this weekend.
It’s a big move for both Mahrez and Leicester City, adding a proven Premier League attacking star that will add to the squad’s depth, while bringing in more funds for Leicester City to spend on improving its roster. Unfortunately for Leicester, it’s another blow in breaking up the 2016 Premier League championship side, which has since lost both N'Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater, though Jamie Vardy has remained.
Here’s some more transfer news from across the Premier League and Europe:
Edinson Cavani was the star of Uruguay’s 2-1 victory over Portugal in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup on Saturday, but his two goals didn’t come without a price — a hamstring injury suffered late in the second half.
Cristiano Ronaldo offered Cavani a bit of assistance — largely in the essence of time — as he left the field with his side ahead in the 74th minute. According to head coach Oscar Tabarez, it is yet unknown how severe the injury is — and whether or not it will keep him out of Friday’s quarterfinal clash with France — but “[they] are worried.” — quotes from the BBC:
“Yes, he was injured and he felt pain. I haven’t spoken to the medical team because the match has only just finished. We don’t have a lot of time to recover. Right now, we are only worried, but we don’t know how serious the injury really is.
As for the rest of Saturday’s game, the 71-year-old was extremely pleased by yet another of his side’s resolute, organized defensive performances. Portugal had 67 percent of possession and created 20 shots (to Uruguay’s five), but the quality of chances allowed was patently, and characteristically, low.
“It was difficult, Portugal were constantly in our area. Today it was a mistake that led to the equalizer, but we have a very strong team. We have had to sustain an injury and see how that resolves.”
“We were not that far away from a very different result. Up to yesterday people were saying, ‘Well, we won the group phase but the group was easy.’ I don’t think Portugal was easy and what lies ahead won’t be easy.”
DC United 1-1 North Carolina FC (NCFC wins in PKs)
Ian Harkes scored an Open Cup goal for the second successive season, but his first half goal was met in the second by Marios Lomis seven minutes from stoppage time.
The match went to penalty kicks after 120 minutes were in the books. David Ousted stopped NC’s second effort and the visitors his the cross bar with their fourth shot. Harkes then sent his chance to clinch it wide of the frame, but Bruno Miranda netted the fifth effort.
Philadelphia Union 5-0 Richmond Kickers
Philly built a 4-0 halftime lead, cruising to a win on the strength of five goal scorers: Jack Elliott, David Accam, Anthony Fontana, Marcus Epps, and Jay Simpson.
The Union lost consecutive finals in 2014 and 2015, and move on to another quarterfinal round.
Miguel Almiron is a special, special talent; The 24-year-old is building off his incredible debut season by blowing up the league to the tune of six goals and five assists in eight outings. Feel fortunate he’s amongst our time zones for a while.
Chicago Fire Drew at Toronto, 2-2
Bastian Schweinsteiger had a penalty kick saved by Alex Bono, but a found a way past the Syracuse backstop as the Fire rebounded from a 2-0 deficit at BMO Field to keep their CONCACAF Champions League wounds exposed to the elements.
What’s troubling about Chicago’s inconsistent start is just one clean sheet through seven matches; Yes, scoring is up, but Veljko Paunovic needs to sort out his back line even if Fernando Torres winds up coming to Illinois.
Colorado Rapids Lost to Orlando City, 2-1
The Rapids have been hurt by having five of their first seven matches on the road, but don’t let that be an excuse for poor passing. Colorado has to do better with the ball, connecting on a paltry 73.8 percent of their passes. That happens when you’re chasing games and goals (and away from home, no doubt), but still… find a way.
No one wants to see the Rapids on their schedule, their 22 yellow cards tied for a league high and 15.1 fouls per game also pacing the field. Colorado only has two players with multiple goals (Dominique Badji has five and Joe Mason two).
Columbus Crew Beat San Jose, 2-1
Only KC and NYCFC have had more of the ball than Gregg Berhalter’s men, and now they are back to turning that 55 percent possession into goals. The Crew have four goals in two matches after scoring just once on a three-match losing streak.
FC Dallas Lost at NYCFC, 3-1
Oscar Pareja’s men fall from the rank of the unbeaten in just their second away match of the season. FCD has been remarkably good at winning 50-50 battles, and would’ve fared better than a two-goal loss had they not wasted a handful of very good chances.
DC United Lost at Philadelphia, 3-2
Only Vancouver is averaging fewer shots per game than DC’s 8.7, and the Black-and-Red was out shot a stunning 23-4. You’re not going to hit that 50 percent success rate too often, and to burn it in a 3-2 loss is almost funny.
Houston Dynamo Lost at Minnesota, 2-1
We knew Houston’s attack would go as Romell Quioto, Alberth Elis, and Mauro Manotas went, but we’re positive the trio was expecting a bit more help than its received so far. They’ve combined for nine goals and six assists, the rest of the team has six and four.
Rasmus Schuller. The 26-year-old Finnish midfielder leads the league in tackles per game with six, and rebounded from his worst match of the season to post nine in a 2-1 win over Houston that moved the Loons into seventh. Schuller’s also second in the league in fouls committed (2.9) and has been dribbled past a good amount, but credit plenty of that to activity.
Montreal Impact Lost at Atlanta, 4-1
The Impact have allowed 16 goals in four-straight losses, quite a change from the vibes after Remi Garde won consecutive 1-0 decisions over Toronto and Seattle (no easy wins!). Despite the score line this weekend, the Impact led late before falling apart. Troubling times. Spare a thought for Victor Cabrera, who has a league-best 5.1 interceptions a game and probably would appreciate not having to make so many.
New England Revolution Beat Sporting KC, 1-0
Brad Friedel is defying all doubters in his first senior managerial gig, with one loss in seven outings following an opening day setback. The latest, a 1-0 win over Sporting KC, is among the more impressive.
New York City FC Beat FC Dallas, 3-1
Atlanta might be on pace for the East’s top spot, but did the Five Stripes have an international legend score his 400th goal this weekend, huh? David Villa, everybody.
Of the players who really matter to Jesse Marsch’s unit, only Bradley Wright-Phillips (33) is older than 25. RBNY keeps pumping out solid performances from players who made their names in the academy (Kyle Duncan, now on IR), in college ball (Florian Valot of Rider, then grown in USL), or both (Sean Davis and Alex Muyl). Model.
What’s another fine sign of Marsch’s brilliance? New York has five goals off set piece plays, a league-best figure. Here’s a worrying number though: While the Red Bulls are playing the fourth-fewest long balls per game, and they are connecting on a league-worst 70.4 passing.
Orlando City Won at Colorado, 2-1
Winners of five-straight, Jason Kreis’ Lions have gotten to know each other. Maybe no one more than Yoshimar Yotun; The Peruvian has a goal or an assist in four of the five wins. Left back Mohamed El-Munir has also been a revelation. The Libyan national teamer is in the mix for a sneaky early season MLS Best XI.
Portland Timbers BYE
Those ready to heap judgment on Gio Savarese’s tenure as Timbers boss have been dismayed by a pair of wins. We know home cooking matters in MLS, and he’s won both of those so far. Points in four of five, too.
Philadelphia Beat DC United, 3-2
Ending a run of one goal in five games is good, and the three-goal performance was fit for their second win of the season. Philly isn’t getting star turns from anyone, though Alejandro Bedoya is perhaps quietly having a decent season.
Real Salt Lake Lost at Vancouver, 2-0
Mike Petke’s men seem a perfectly average MLS side; They’ve won their last three at home, and dropped their last three on the road. But the clean sheet loss means RSL has scored just over a goal per game in a league which is feasting on goalkeepers.
San Jose Earthquakes Lost at Columbus, 2-1
Consecutive road losses mean Mikael Stahre’s men remain winless since Opening Day. It’s hard to get a read on them, but this stretch against Portland, Minnesota, and Vancouver will tell us a lot.
Seattle Sounders Lost at LAFC, 1-0
The Sounders have scored in two games despite Nicolas Lodeiro averaging a hardly real 4.2 key passes per game. Those are the only two matches in which they’ve gotten points. They’ve done it without Jordan Morris in the past, but it’s not happening this year. Then again, a lot of Sounders are hurt and there’s a “lost year” vibe coming from much rave green right now.
Sporting KC Lost at New England, 1-0
The seven-match unbeaten run ends on the road against what is (probably) a pretty decent side, and there’s no shame in that. Our own resident SKC expert says keep an eye on Khiry Shelton. From everything I’ve seen from Urena, this is a lofty and wonderful comparison for the forward.
Toronto FC Lost CONCACAF Champions League final in PKs
Drew Chicago, 2-2
The MLS Cup Final hangover is a thing, as both TFC and Seattle are worst in the league at .67 points per game. This was a bad week for TFC, who built leads in two very different settings and couldn’t seal the deal. Toronto came back from a quick deficit in the CCL final only to lose in penalty kicks, and then went ahead 2-0 against visiting Chicago before tossing that advantage aside in a draw.
Vancouver Whitecaps Beat RSL, 2-0
The Caps rebounded from a three-match losing skid punctuated by a 6-0 beatdown against KC to win against the Utah set, but watch this three-match run for a possible hot streak. If Vancouver can topple Minnesota, Houston, and San Jose (only the Loons match is away), it can build some breathing room for the tougher stretches.
Suarez promises he is a reformed character and will be better behaved in Russia than in Brazil, where he scored twice before being banned.
“It was my mistake,” Suarez said. “So I have a debt to repay to myself and Uruguay, to try to show a good image.”
Things were already starting to look brighter for two-time World Cup champion Uruguay, based on qualifying at least.
After enduring four consecutive World Cup playoffs and only reaching three of the tournaments, Uruguay secured an automatic place in Russia by finishing second behind Brazil in qualifying.
Here’s a closer look at the Uruguay team:
Oscar Tabarez will lead Uruguay into his fourth World Cup after a first trip in 1990 followed by 2010 and 2014. A Tabarez team has always made it out of the group stage, including a semifinal appearance in South Africa eight years ago.
A former school teacher and professional player, Tabarez led Uruguay to the Copa America title in 2011. As a club coach, he led Penarol to the Copa Libertadores title in 1987 and Boca Juniors to an Argentine league title in 1992.
The 71-year-old Tabarez has used a wheelchair since he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome in 2016.
There is little doubt Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera will be between the posts for his third World Cup.
The Atletico Madrid partnership of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez also anchor the heart of Uruguay’s defense. Godin has made more than 100 appearances since his debut in 2005 and scored at his third World Cup with a header against Italy in 2014. The 23-year-old Gimenez offers a solid companion to a player nine years his senior and already has one World Cup under his belt.
Versatile Lazio wingback Martin Caceres should also be sure of a starting spot unless there is a recurrence of one of his frequent injuries.
Tabarez has always had doubts about his midfield’s attacking qualities. While the unit has usually been capable of defending well, the midfielders have often struggled to generate chances for the forwards.
During qualifying, Tabarez called up several young players who improved in this area: Federico Valverde (19), Nahitan Nandez (22) and Rodrigo Bentancur (20).
Uruguay shouldn’t be short of goals. The strikers are the team’s greatest strength.
Suarez is Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer with 50 goals and is coming off the back of a strong season with Barcelona. Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is next on the list with 41, including a continent-leading 10 goals in 18 matches in South American qualifying.
Uruguay, which will be based in Nizhny Novgorod, will face Egypt in its first match on June 15. That will be followed by matches against Saudi Arabia on June 20 and Russia on June 25.