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Paul Scholes appointed Oldham manager

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Paul Scholes is the latest legendary English midfielder to head into management.

Scholes, 44, has been appointed as the new manager of fourth-tier Oldham Athletic, with the Manchester United legend taking charge of his boyhood club until at least the summer of 2020.

With Steven Gerrard in charge at Glasgow Rangers and Frank Lampard leading Derby County, Scholes is also swapping punditry for the managerial hotseat and says he has “a lot of passion” for Oldham.

Why is he now moving into management?

“I just feel ready. There have been times in the past where it has been an option for me,” Scholes told the media on Monday. “I wanted to come into this with my full coaching badges, I have watched the team closely. I think this is a good team with some really good players. With the squad we have I think we should be pushing for promotion.”

This job has been lined up for Scholes for some time, but due to his involvement as a part-owner of fifth-tier Salford City alongside his former United teammates the English Football League had to look into the matter and scope out any potential conflict of interests.

Scholes has stepped down as a director of Salford City, but still keeps his 10 percent stake in the club. With everything now squared away, Scholes’ main aim will be to push Oldham up the League Two table as they currently sit nine points off the playoffs with 16 games to go.

Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam told the club website that Scholes will have his “100 percent backing” as the Latics manager.

“Paul has won everything there is to win in football. He is a man who will bring a lot of footballing knowledge and his hunger to succeed in management will be there for everyone to see,” Lemsagam said. “It’s no secret how much he has wanted this job in the past and how much he loves this club, so I’m very happy to bring him into our family at Oldham Athletic. Paul will have my backing 100 percent and hopefully we can work together to bring success back to this club.”

His coaching career saw him help out with the youth and reserve teams at United towards the end of his playing days, and he then helped out Ryan Giggs during his interim spell in charge of United in the final months of the 2013-14 campaign.

Scholes won every single major trophy in the domestic game in England during his glittering career with Man United. He won two Champions League titles, 11 Premier Leagues and played 718 times for the Red Devils, as well as winning 66 caps for England with 14 goals on the international stage.

Most recently he has worked as a pundit for both ITV and BT Sport and is known for his dry sense of humor and savage takes on all things United, and especially Jose Mourinho in recent times.

Scholes’ remit will be simple: turn Oldham into promotion contenders in League Two.

Nobody is expecting Scholes to return Oldham to the Premier League (their last appearance in the top-flight was a two-year stay from 1992-94) but if his old teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets the United job permanently then you can be sure plenty of United’s best youngsters will be heading to Oldham on loan for the 2018-19 campaign.

Transfer Deadline Day Live Blog — As It Happened

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Once a non-event, the January transfer window has become busier and busier as the teams of the Premier League deem improving their lot for the second half of the season almost as important as the first.

Makes sense, right?

[ MORE: Earlier done deals ]

We’re monitoring things at Chelsea and Newcastle amongst other venues before the window slams shut at 6 p.m. ET.

Be sure to follow the Sky Sports deadline show on NBCSN until 5 p.m. ET before the NBC Sports Soccer crew picks up for three more hours of dynamite coverage.

So here we go.


6:21 p.m. ET — Yannick Bolasie is leaving Everton on loan to Anderlecht for the rest of the season after cutting a loan with Aston Villa short.


6 p.m. ET — The window is closed, but that just means deal sheets had to be submitted to the Premier League. Stay tuned for further announcements.


5:56 p.m. ET — Celtic have pushed another deal over the line in its bid to hold off Rangers and Aberdeen and win another Scottish Premiership title.

Jeremy Toljan will join the Bhoys from Borussia Dortmund on loan, having struggled to get playing time on the Bundesliga leaders.


5:52 p.m. ET — A couple late deals coming through for peripheral PL players.

Everton’s Beni Baningime will go on loan to Wigan Athletic, having seen his playing time pretty much disappear after Sam Allardyce left Goodison Park.

And long time Leicester City man Andy King is leaving the King Power Stadium to join Derby County for the rest of the season.


5:38 p.m. ET — A bit slower now with 22 minutes to go in the window. Of course, moves can be announced after 6 p.m. ET but there is paperwork to be filed…

Will Michy Batshuayi finish his move to Palace? Jacob Murphy to West Brom?


5:11 p.m. ET — A report out of Italy has a couple of eye-popping notes.

DC United has reportedly turned down almost $12 million from Paris Saint-Germain for Luciano Acosta, hoping to get closer to $14m for the 24-year-old former Boca Juniors man.

Acosta does not hold an international roster spot for DC, who saw the playmaker team up with Wayne Rooney to push the Black-and-Red up the Eastern Conference table last season.

Acosta has 19 goals and 27 assists in 103 appearances for DC, and would help PSG plug the hole opened by Neymar’s 10-week layoff.


5:03 p.m. ET — The BBC is reporting that Fulham has landed former West Ham midfielder/defender Havard Nordtveit.

The Norwegian will arrive on loan from Hoffenheim. The 28-year-old has mostly played center back in 11 matches between the Bundesliga and Champions League this season.

Fulham also sold combustible striker Aboubakar Kamara to Malatyaspor.


4:35 p.m. ET — Woah. Michy Batshuayi has apparently reached terms with Crystal Palace in the hopes of a permanent deal.

UPDATE: Sky reports that Palace CEO Steve Parrish says the deal is ON.

The big Belgian striker, 25, would take more attention off of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, and hopefully feed off the crosses of the latter, Patrick Van Aanholt, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

This could be a big, big deal and a stunner of a lower-half signing.


4:32 p.m. ET — Our noted KC writer Andy Edwards has thoughts on an exciting report that longtime USMNT prospect Gedion Zelalem may move from Arsenal to Major League Soccer.

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes has a knack for developing young talents, so it’ll be interesting to see whether this is a loan or a permanent deal (should it happen).


4:30 p.m. ET — A note from Major League Soccer, where Toronto FC is ready to splash some cash to replace outgoing megastar Sebastian Giovinco.

Remember, their last few Designated Players include Giovinco, Jermain Defoe, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley…


4:22 p.m. ET — Everton’s potential sale of Idrissa Gana Gueye of Paris Saint-Germain has been quiet, but Sky Sports has broken into their coverage to say that Gana is now the subject of a $34 million bid.

The Toffees still do not plan on selling the industrious center midfielder, but he’s also 29 years old and the Toffees are neither in danger of being relegated nor finding their footing as a European club.


4:07 p.m. ET — Michy Batshuayi is one of the topics of conversation, as the Belgian striker looks to find regular playing time away from Chelsea.

Batshuayi, 25, tore up the Bundesliga on loan at Borussia Dortmund last season, but could not find the back of the goal often in a half-season at Valencia.

He’s been linked with moves to Real Betis, West Ham United, and — most unlikely — Spurs, but his wages are reportedly holding up the deal. Speaking on Sky Sports’ transfer deadline show, Sam Allardyce unsurprisingly said West Ham would be the best place for him.


3:49 p.m. ET — Some Americans in Scotland (and America) news.

A pair of players have signed with Celtic, though neither will spend the rest of this season with Brendan Rodgers‘ men.

It looks like MAC Hermann Trophy winner Andrew Gutman was not able to get the proper papers to activate his time at Celtic, as the Indiana University left back and USMNT hopeful has been sent on loan to Nashville SC.

Also signing leaving Celtic on loan is NC State’s Manny Perez, who is off on loan to North Carolina FC.

And there’s a Yank making a move to the Scottish Championship, as 23-year-old Evansville product Ian McGrath makes the move from Nashville SC to Queen of the South.


3:18 p.m. ET — It’s a loan swap deal, but the big piece moving between Monaco and Leicester City is versatile and dangerous Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans.

The 21-year-old has five goals and an assist in Ligue 1 play, and operates in the center of the park.

Going back the other way is Adrien Silva, 29, who just hasn’t settled at Leicester following a paperwork snafu at the start of the 2017-18 season.


3 p.m. ET — A move from MLS to a top European team, but it’s more for the future.

Real Salt Lake’s Taylor Booth is on the move to Bayern Munich. The U.S. U-19 midfielder, 17, joins FC Dallas youngster Chris Richards and Vancouver Whitecaps star Alphonso Davies at the Allianz Arena.

More info: Here.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN today from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

Americans Abroad: Polster, Gutman trials in Scotland take Old Firm turn

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The tale of a pair of Chicago Fire products taking their talents to Scotland has taken an interesting turn.

Steven Gerrard brought Matt Polster and Andrew Gutman to Rangers for a trial in December, and was said to be hopeful of signing both. Polster was reported as the less likely to leave the United States, but is now said to be negotiating with the Glaswegian outfit.

[ READ: PL Player Power Rankings ]

The same report, from The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio, says Rangers’ bitter rivals at Celtic have pulled into pole position to sweep left back Gutman out from under them.

There’s something interesting here aside from Gutman choosing Celtic over his initial trial club Rangers, two of the fiercest rivals in the world: The 22-year-old Fire academy product isn’t as highly viewed by Chicago as he is by several other MLS sides, Celtic, and the league itself.

From The Athletic:

Sources say the Fire initially offered Gutman a minimum-value contract and that Chicago has been shopping the left back’s homegrown rights within the league. Sources indicate MLS has upped the offer to Gutman in order to try to keep him in the league, and there is interest from multiple teams within MLS. Gutman is mulling both offers, but sources indicate he is leaning toward going overseas with Celtic.

So… it’ll be a little alarming for Fire supporters, an already beleaguered bunch, if Gutman turns out to be a starter for Celtic (or another European club) and Chicago simply offered the minimum to keep him.

Gutman won the MAC Hermann Trophy as the best player in college soccer this season, and left back has been a perennial question for the USMNT. That said, the top-heavy Scottish Premiership may be a physical grind, but isn’t a guarantee to be a better testing ground than Major League Soccer. It’s certainly a better gateway to Europe, though.

Bournemouth’s Defoe inks 18-month loan deal with Rangers

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Could Jermain Defoe swing the Scottish Premiership title race to the side of the Glasgow Rangers?

Bournemouth announced the veteran striker’s loan on Sunday after weeks of speculation, and manager Steven Gerrard is thrilled to bring the fellow and former English national team striker to the Ibrox Stadium.

[ REPORT: Mourinho turns down job ]

The 36-year-old hasn’t scored in 254 minutes this season, only 21 of which came in the Premier League. He scored four times last season after bagging 30 combined PL goals for Sunderland in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

Defoe last place in a league similar to Scotland when he joined Toronto FC in 2014, scoring 11 times in 19 matches for the Reds. Provided he’s not totally lost his game, it could be possible he puts up a similar strike rate for Gerrard’s men.

The majority of Defoe’s 57 caps came during Gerrard’s time with England, so there’s going to be a solid bond there, and his leadership should further help 22-year-old Alfredo Morales find consistency.

Gutman, Macario honored as best college players

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Glasgow Rangers trialist and possible Chicago Fire Homegrown player Andrew Gutman took a break from his professional endeavors to celebrate his success as an amateur.

[ MORE: Kane plays v. Tranmere ]

The Indiana University star was awarded the 2018 Mac Hermann Trophy as the best male player in American college soccer on Friday in St. Louis, while Stanford attacker Catarina Macario claimed the women’s award.

Gutman scored 11 goals for the Hoosiers, and has drawn the interest of Rangers manager Steven Gerrard as a fullback.

Macario won the women’s award, the Stanford sophomore beating college teammate Jordan DiBiasi, and Georgetown forward Caitlin Farrell on the weight of a 14-goal, 21-assist season.