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Asia-wide crackdown on illegal gambling during EURO 2016

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BANGKOK (AP) Interpol says a crackdown on Asian gambling dens and websites during football’s European Championship led to more than 4,100 people arrested and $13.6 million seized.

Police raided nearly 4,000 illegal dens across Asia and Europe, including in China, Singapore, France, and Italy.

[ MORE: Zlatan will be “God of Manchester” ]

Two operations coordinated in Thailand targeted organized crime networks and transnational networks in Asia “behind illicit websites and call-center type operations running online scams,” Interpol says.

Three Thai offices of illegal online gambling sites were shut down, and 15 people were arrested in Malaysia linked to payment card fraud.

Interpol’s head of anti-corruption and financial crimes unit, Jim Anderson, says “illegal gambling generates massive profits for organized crime networks which are often linked to corruption, human trafficking, and money laundering.”

Liverpool close to signing Augsburg defender Ragnar Klavan

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Liverpool is closing in on the signing of Ragnar Klavan, with the Estonian defender set to fly to England on Tuesday to undergo a medical.

The 30-year-old center-back has made more than 100 appearances for Augsburg, helping lead the Bundesliga club to the Europa League last season where they were eliminated by Liverpool in the Round of 32.

The move is for a reported $5.5 million.

[ MORE: Nkoudou headed to Spurs ]

Jurgen Klopp will be familiar with Klavan from his time managing Dortmund, bringing defensive depth to a Liverpool side that let both Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel leave this summer, while Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho are currently out injured.

VIDEO: Ousmane Dembele shows silky skills in Dortmund preseason

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Ousmane Dembele was one of the most coveted talents in Europe this summer, with the 19-year-old eventually leaving French side Rennes and joining Borussia Dortmund on a five-year contract.

The young striker impressed with his pace and skill in Ligue 1, scoring 12 goals in 26 appearances as a teenager.

[ MORE: Xhaka “perfect signing” for Arsenal ]

Now settling in with Dortmund for preseason, Dembele hasn’t skipped a beat as a recent highlight reel shows the teen embarrassing defenders with his silky skills.

While it is just preseason played against lesser competition, the future surely looks bright for both Dembele and Dortmund.

Portland Timbers send goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey back to Norway

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Adam Kwarasey is out in Portland as the Timbers have shipped their goalkeeper to Rosenborg BK of Norway’s Tippeligaen.

Kwarasey, who was born and raised in Norway, played eight seasons in the Tippeligaen before moving to Portland in 2015.

[ MORE: Zlatan will be “God of Manchester” ]

As the Timber’s number-one keeper last season, the 28-year-old helped the club to their first MLS Cup title, winning MLS Save of the Year honors in the process.

However, a finger injury sidelined Kwarasey early this season and he was unable to win back his starting spot from Jake Gleeson.

Kwarasey was named the Tippeligaen’s goalkeeper of the season in 2013 as he helped lead Stromsgodset to the league title.

Mertesacker calls Granit Xhaka “the perfect signing” for Arsenal

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Granit Xhaka is yet to join his Arsenal teammates in training, but he is already getting their praise.

Having signed for the Gunners in May for a transfer fee around $40 million, Xhaka is still enjoying some time off after featuring for Switzerland at EURO 2016.

[ MORE: Ba suffers career-threatening injury ]

While admitting to not knowing Xhaka personally, Arsenal’s veteran center-back Per Mertesacker said he is looking forward to playing with the former Monchengladbach midfielder, calling him “the perfect signing” for the Gunners.

He’s a leader and that is really important, especially in midfield. He has got a very good attitude, is very composed on the ball and contributes a lot.

He is a good passer as well, so he will set the tempo. I am looking forward to how he does it, how composed he will be in training and in the games. He will be the perfect signing for us.

Xhaka impressed this summer in France, named man of the match in two of Switzerland’s four games. Still just 23-years-old, he already has six seasons of top-flight experience under his belt.

[ MORE: UEFA releases shortlist for best player in Europe ]

At Arsenal, Xhaka will join a deep group of talented midfielders, competing with the likes of Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.