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Golden Boy award shortlist
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2020 Golden Boy award shortlist announced

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The 2020 Golden Boy award shortlist includes Americans for the first time in two years, as two USMNT prospects were named amongst the top 100 players under the age of 21 in Europe’s top leagues.

Tuttosport has named Ajax’s Sergio Dest and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna to the shortlist for the award. The last Americans to make the shortlist were Timothy Weah and Christian Pulisic in 2018.

Dest, 19, was recently named Ajax Talent of the Year and has already earned 35 senior appearances for the club with two goals and six assists. He’s thrice capped by the USMNT.

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Reyna, 17, has become a fixture in the Dortmund XI for Lucien Favre, regularly coming off the bench and displaying a knack for drawing fouls and tidy passing. The son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, “Gio” has a goal and an assist in 16 first team appearances.

Canada’s American-born Jonathan David (Gent) and Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) also make the cut, as does Mexican forward Diego Lainez (Real Betis).

Joao Felix beat Jadon Sancho to the 2019 honors, and it would be stunning if Reyna or Dest got much further in the process given the young talent on show this season. Erling Haaland and Sancho of Borussia Dortmund will be two of the favorites to emerge with the top billing.

Premier League talent everywhere

Starting with the first name on the alphabetical list, Premier League clubs made an impressive showing in the top 100.

Max Aarons of Norwich City is joined by Tino Anjorin (Chelsea), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Man City), Eric Garcia (Man City), James Garner (Man Utd), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool).

Transfer news: Spurs want Neves, Man Utd hopes for van de Beek

Neves to Tottenham
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Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are hoping to pick off talent from Ajax and Wolves, respectively, while a Chelsea target reportedly only has eyes for Barcelona

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Wolves’ incredible season has increased interest in a number of their assets, and Jose Mourinho is eyeing one of his Portuguese compatriots currently at the Molineux.

Le10sport reports that the Tottenham Hotspur boss wants to bring 23-year-old Ruben Neves to North London and that the player is open to the idea.

Neves is a fixture in the Wolves’ lineup, having moved from Porto in 2017 for just under $20 million.

He’s 125 times for Wolves since joining them for the 2017-18 promotion campaign in the Championship, scoring 15 times with seven assists.

Ruben Neves would be a part of a young midfield engine with Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele and others, including 19-year-old Oliver Skipp.

Spurs also have Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko, and Eric Dier and all of the above are contracted for a while. Dier’s contract expires first (2021), and he’s rumored to be signing a new deal in North London.

Neves has 16 caps for Portugal and it’s worth noting that there’s no guarantee that Wolves won’t have better European standing than Spurs next season.


The Sunday Times says Donny van de Beek’s Real Madrid move is in doubt and that Manchester United may reap the benefits.

The story goes that Real may not be able to spend as much money as planned this summer due the coronavirus, ending their agreement to buy the Ajax midfielder.

United then would swoop into the mix, though the report says the club would expect that his price tag may not be as high due to the pandemic.

Ajax has confirmed it’s ready to sell Van de Beek if he’d like to leave the Netherlands. Everton, Spurs, and Manchester United had been linked with Van de Beek.

Van de Beek just turned 23, and has 10 goals and 11 assists in 37 matches this season after registering 17 and 13 in 57 appearances in 2018/19.


Miralem Pjanic has his eyes set on one destination: the Camp Nou.

Juventus’ 30-year-old midfielder has reportedly turned down advances from Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in the hopes of landing at Barcelona.

Pjanic has a contract in Turin through the 2022-23 season, where he’s started every Serie A match when healthy. He’s been in the last four Teams of the Year in Italy’s top flight.

The 92-times capped Bosnia and Herzegovina man has 14 international goals and signed for Juve from Roma in 2016.

Transfer news: Tagliafico to Chelsea; Osimhen to Arsenal

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In the latest transfer news Chelsea have been linked with a move for Nicolas Tagliafico, while Arsenal are said to be keen on Victor Osimhen.

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Starting in west London, Chelsea are said to be interested in Ajax left back Nicolas Tagliafico as the Argentine defender will be available this summer.

According to The Telegraph, Tagliafico, 27, will be available to buy for $28 million and he’s been linked with Arsenal in the Premier League and plenty of top clubs in Europe. Per the report, Tagliafico would be a much cheaper option than Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell.

Tagliafico is a solid, reliable defender who is calm on the ball and versatile. That is exactly what Frank Lampard wants at left back as his two current options Marcos Alonso and Emerson have been inconsistent with Alonso better going forward and Emerson slightly better defensively. Chelsea need to improve defensively and be it in a 3-4-3 formation or a 4-3-3 system, Tagliafico will slot in well.

At $28 million, Tagliafico would be a very shrewd signing and he’s been influential in the Ajax side which has impressed in Europe over the last two seasons, including in their run to the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League semifinals. With Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech already joining Ajax from Chelsea, the Blues could do a lot worse than picking up Tagliafico to solve their left back problem.

Osimhen
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Switching from west London to north London, Arsenal have been linked with plenty of attacking players in recent weeks, even though it appears Mikel Arteta will be strapped for cash in the upcoming transfer windows.

A report from La Replubblica says that Arsenal are battling with Napoli for 21-year-old Lille forward Victor Osimhen.

Osimhen has flourished at Lille over the past few years and Arsenal are looking to sign young, hungry, pacy forwards and the Nigerian international fits the bill.

Nicolas Pepe joined Arsenal from Lille last summer in a club-record deal of close to $88 million and per the report, Arsenal already owe Lille plenty of monthly payments on the deal for Pepe so maybe Osimhen’s transfer fee could be built into that payment plan?

Still, his price tag of over $60 million seems way too high for an Arsenal side who are looking at swap and loan deals galore, plus have agreed to a long-term wage cut with players and staff.

Is up front an area they are looking to strengthen? With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang maybe leaving, plus Alexandre Lacazette also said to be keen on a move, that leaves Arteta with youngsters Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli who have both impressed. Osimhen scored 20 goals in all competitions last season and 18 this season and Lille are said to be willing to sell on some of their best young stars as they did not qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season due to the Ligue 1 season being canceled in France and a points-per-game model used to determine the final table.

Osimhen could be available but could Arsenal afford him? Surely only if Auba and Laca both leave.

Transfer news: King to Man United; Tagliafico to Arsenal

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In the latest transfer news Josh King has been linked with a move to Man United this summer as several top clubs are circling, while Ajax and Argentina defender Nicolas Tagliafico could be heading to Arsenal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

First up, our partners at Sky Sports in the UK have a beauty of a report which states that four of the Premier League’s top six clubs want to sign Bournemouth striker Josh King.

King, 28, was the subject of a late bid form Man United in the January window but the Cherries turned it down as they needed him to help with their relegation battle. Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe admitted it was tough on King and the players also revealed he was it was tough to see the move blocked, as he came through Man United’s youth academy and the Norwegian international is close with Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. King has scored 46 goals in 154 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth and has been instrumental since they were promoted to the top-flight in 2015. King loves Man United and this would clearly be a good fit for all concerned.

Per the fresh report, Man United are keen on King because he can play centrally and wide and with Odion Ighalo’s future uncertain amid his loan move from Shanghai Shenhua, Solskjaer wants to add one more striker this summer. King has one year left on his contract and Bournemouth are expected to cash in on him but Chelsea are also said to be interested, as well as two other ‘top six’ clubs.

Bournemouth rejected a $25 million offer for King in January but they would snap anybody’s hand off for that this summer given the financial situation due to the coronavirus pandemic and the fact King will have just one year left on his current deal. Bournemouth have already been burned by not extending Ryan Fraser’s contract and he is set to be out of contract on July 1.

Tagliafico
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Heading from Manchester to London, Arsenal are said to be interested in Ajax and Argentina defender Nicolas Tagliafico.

The Gunners continue to be linked with plenty of defenders and even though it is believed Mikel Arteta will not have a big transfer budget in the upcoming transfer windows, Tagliafico for $25 million is a steal.

According to the Sun, Arsenal want the 27-year-old as Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar recently said that Tagliafico, Andre Onana and Donny van de Beek are free to leave this summer if their transfer value is met. Tagliafico is said to be keen on a fresh challenge and wants a move to the Premier League.

Do Arsenal need a left back? Teenage star Bukayo Saka has been splendid out of position at left back this season but both he and Arsenal are keen to move him back into his natural position as a left winger, while young Scottish left back Kieran Tierney has struggled with injuries throughout his debut campaign in the Premier League.

Tagliafico can also play as a left-sided center back and with the Gunners experimenting at times with a 3-4-3 formation, he would give them flexibility and defensive options. It is clear Arsenal need to improve defensively and Tagliafico is a very solid left back who is good on the ball and is also a goal threat at the other end of the pitch.

FC Cincinnati’s Stam laughs off unveiling photo gaffe

Jaap Stam
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CINCINNATI (AP) Oops!

Cincinnati’s Major League Soccer team posted the wrong photo in its tweet announcing the hiring of former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam.

And it wasn’t the first time the coach with a shaved head has been confused with someone else who has the same look.

“It’s happened before, but it was quite a big surprise yesterday,” Stam said Friday.

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The team announced his hiring Thursday on a tweet that mistakenly featured the photo of look-alike Tinus van Teanenbroek, an Ajax youth coach. Cincinnati soon retweeted the announcement with the correct photo, saying, “Join us in welcoming our actual new head coach, Jaap Stam.” The team wrote “actual” in italics.

Stam told the team’s website that he’s thankful for the attention the mistake brought to his hiring. He said he’s accustomed to such mistaken identity.

“A lot of people with no hair, in Holland, sometimes they say, `There’s Jaap!'” he said. “It’s a thing that’s quite normal.”

Other MLS teams picked up on the mistake and tweeted photos of other Stam look-alikes, which he enjoyed.

“Somebody posted it to me, and I can appreciate it as well,” Stam said in a Zoom call with the media Friday. “At a certain time, we need to have a little laugh as well. If we play against each other, if we come out on top by winning those particular games, then we can have a laugh, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Stam replaced Ron Jans, who was forced out in February after a league investigation found he’d used a racial slur in the locker room and made other troubling comments. The investigation was prompted by a complaint from the MLS Players Association.

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Cincinnati is on its third head coach during its brief stay in the league. As an expansion team last year, it fired Alan Koch after its 11th first-tier match, which left Cincinnati with two wins, seven losses and two draws.

Stam, 47, also has coached in England at Reading (2016-18) as well as in his native Holland at Zwolle (2018-19) and Feyenoord (2019).

A central defender, he won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and the 1999 Champions League with United.