Transfer news

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Lampard expects final decision on Chelsea transfer ban ‘very soon’

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Frank Lampard believes that he will find out “very soon” whether or not Chelsea’s two-window transfer ban is upheld or lifted ahead of the January transfer window.

[ MORE: Agents made $650 million from player transfers in 2019 ]

Chelsea were given the ban for breaching rules around signing young players and elected not to appeal the punishment, at least initially. After accepting the ban for the summer transfer window, the Blues launched their appeal with an eye toward having it lifted in time to bolster their squad with a few mid-season signings.

Their case was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last month, leading Lampard to believe that a final decision is imminent — quotes from the BBC:

“Very soon, I believe. Days, I think. I haven’t heard anymore, so I would wait and reserve judgment [on Chelsea’s plans for January] until we get the judgment and see where we want to go from there.”

Through 14 games, Chelsea sit fourth in the Premier League and currently hold a six point-advantage on their closest “big-six” rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. They have lost back-to-back PL games for the first time all season and the squad was always going to be bordering on the edge of “too thin” or “too young” to survive 38 league games as well as Champions League and the domestic cups.

If Chelsea’s ban is lifted before January, which areas of the squad should they look the strengthen immediately?

Agents made $650 million from player transfers in 2019

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Looking for a new “get rich quick” scheme? Try becoming an agent for any number of professional footballers, but you better hurry.

[ MORE: Spurs’ Mourinho quotes Mandela in discussing Man United return ]

While it turns out there’s quite a lot of money to be made for representing footballers and facilitating transfers and negotiating contracts, including your own piece of the pie, the well is set to dry up in just over 12 months’ time.

First things first, how much money are we talking about here? More than $650 million in 2019 alone — up nearly 20 percent from 2018 — according to numbers released by FIFA on Wednesday, and that number doesn’t include players who moved between two clubs in the same country, only players who made international transfers. That would be the good news.

[ MORE: Liverpool ready to spend in January ]

Here’s the bad news, for the agents at least: FIFA has approved new guidelines which will cap agent fees at 10 percent of transfer fees and 3 percent of player salaries beginning in 2021. OK, so there’s still decent amount of money to be made in your new career.

The agents and FIFA are at odds over the new rules, which prompted the governing body to release the figures, as if to say, “See? These are the really bad guys ruining your sport.”

Richarlison signs new long-term deal with Everton

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The man who brought Richarlison to Everton may not be long for the club, but the Brazilian star forward’s future is set at Goodison Park.

The club announced a new deal for the 22-year-old on Tuesday which will keep him on Merseyside through the 2023-24 season.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Richarlison arrived from Watford for $53 million last season, and delivered 13 goals and two assists in his first season as a Toffee. He’s added four and two this season, and has 22 goals and nine assists in his Premier League career.

“It was here I managed to get a place in the Brazil national team and it was here I have scored lots of goals in the Premier League,” he said. “The club trusts me and I trust them. The supporters have a lot of affection for me and I try to give back all this affection as much as possible on the pitch. I go out and put my life on the line for them. I try to sweat blood and tears for this club. I intend to continue honoring the shirt and making the fans happy. And I hope they continue singing my name.”

It’s only been 28 months since Richarlison arrived at Watford from Fluminese for $15 million, uncapped. He now has six goals and four assists in 19 caps for Brazil and has been an unqualified success, though certainly there are expectations of better things from him in the future at Everton.

Toronto FC adds Agudelo in Re-Entry Draft; Cincinnati picks Abdul-Salaam

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Few selections in Major League Soccer’s re-entry draft inspire true intrigue, but Toronto FC’s newest selection warrants a close look after what the Reds did in 2018.

The latest pick-up is Juan Agudelo from New England, and Toronto will be thrilled if he has the same impact as last season’s selection of Nick DeLeon, who scored 10 goals across all competitions in a career year. One of those was an MLS Cup-clinching wonder goal against Atlanta United.

[ MORE: MLS announces conference tweaks ]

The 27-year-old Agudelo is coming off two rough seasons in which he only scored three goals, but scored seven goals in each of his first three MLS seasons since returning from overseas, where he had signed for Stoke City but only appeared for FC Utrecht in the Netherlands having not gained a work permit.

Agudelo brings 28 USMNT caps and three goals to Greg Vanney’s Reds, and is now 27 years old.

The only other selection in Tuesday’s Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft was FC Cincinnati taking Saad Abdul-Salaam from Seattle Sounders, the former Akron man moving closer to where he starred in college.

Transfer rumor roundup: Berge to Liverpool, Giroud to Milan

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Liverpool have been linked with a January move for Sander Berge from Genk, as Norwegian outlets VG report he is also being monitored by Chelsea and Napoli.

The Norwegian midfielder, 21, is seen as a player who can develop into a top holding midfielder and with Fabinho set for a spell on the sidelines due to ankle ligament damage, it is believed the Premier League leaders are looking to add extra options in defensive midfield.

Even if Fabinho comes back quicker than expected the Reds still look short in holding midfield as James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all more comfortable playing in more advanced midfield roles.

Long-term this move would make sense, but short-term it doesn’t much that much sense. Fabinho will be back in the team in early 2020 and Liverpool have enough in midfield to cope without him. Berge has obviously impressed Liverpool with his displays against them in the UEFA Champions League this season and he’s a very similar player to Fabinho.

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has been linked with a January move to AC Milan as the Frenchman has seen his playing time with the Blues severely limited this season.

According to the Daily Mail, Giroud is set for talks with Chelsea about his future and is keen to move in January. Italian outlet Calcio Mercato believe AC Milan and Inter Milan have been offered the chance to sign Giroud for a small fee ahead of his contract expiring at Chelsea in the summer.

Giroud, 33, is still a regular for France but has lost his place in the Chelsea team to Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi has been the go-to man off the bench for Frank Lampard this season. Giroud made his first PL start at the weekend but failed to impress as Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to West Ham.

AC Milan are said to be close to re-signing free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so that could complicate any move for Giroud. He was crucial in Chelsea’s Europa League success last season but he only scored five PL goals for the Blues since arriving from Arsenal in January 2018 and it is clear he doesn’t fit into Lampard’s plans.

Chelsea’s manager wants a mobile striker and Abraham provides that. Giroud is still a fine finisher and in the right team he’d been a great pick up in January.