Anderson Talisca

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Transfer rumors: Man Utd after pair of midfielders; Liverpool eyes Lascelles

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The transfer rumors continue as players hope to have their futures sorted ahead of next month’s World Cup.

Manchester United is being linked with a pair of big money midfielders.

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

Anderson Talisca, 24, could be leaving Besiktas to join United following a $47 million offer, according to Metro. His 14 goals were fourth in the Turkish Super Lig and his seven assists tied for the team lead. He scored four more times in eight UEFA Champions League matches.

And then there’s highly-sought box-to-box midfielder Jean Michael Seri of Nice, linked with United as well as Manchester City. Club president Jean-Pierre Rivere hinted that the 26-year-old would certainly be headed somewhere this offseason.

Mika Seri is … a very good player who has brought a lot to the club and can legitimately have that desire to go and play abroad.”

— Liverpool could really strengthen its center back situation by buying captain Jamaal Lascelles from Newcastle United, though the hinted fee of $19 million seems low for an integral part of the Magpies’ back line (especially given that English players usually net higher fees on account of being English).

And Lascelles has said Newcastle “is the right club for me at the right time. We have a huge fanbase, an amazing manager, and this club is massive. It has so much history.”

The Chronicle also said Liverpool is also looking at Burnley star center back James Tarkowski, and that Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has his eye on 19-year-old Sevilla mid Alejandro Viedma.

— A wild rumor out of Diario Gol says Alvaro Morata is set to fight for his starting role at Chelsea and is encouraging Real Madrid buddy Marco Asensio to join him at Stamford Bridge. The report says Asensio would be an important part of any Chelsea sale of Eden Hazard.

— Cardiff City is said to be signing Hamburg striker Sven Schipplock when his Hamburg contract expires in June. He did not score for HSV last season.

Europa League wrap: Extra time times three as semis set

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The UEFA Europa League semifinals are set, as Lyon, Ajax, and Celta Vigo join Manchester United to make an attractive quartet aiming for Sweden.

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Besiktas 2-1 (3-3 agg., PKs) Lyon

After 12 successful penalty kicks, Lyon’s Anthony Lopes dove to his right and made the first stop of penalty kicks, but Christophe Jallet sent his effort over the bar to send it to an eighth round. But Lopes stopped Matej Mitrovic to give captain Maxime Gonalons his winning moment.

Anderson Talisca scored both of Besiktas’ goals leading up to kicks, with Alexandre Lacazette nabbing Lyon’s goal after a 2-1 first leg in France.

Manchester United 2-1 (3-2 agg.) AnderlechtRECAP

Jose Mourinho’s men were dominant, but finishing was at a premium and Anderlecht found several chances against United’s bandaged back line. Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored for the second-straight leg, while Anderlecht’s goal came courtesy of Sofiane Hanni before Marcus Rashford nabbed a deserved winner.

Schalke 3-2 (3-4 agg.) Ajax

Ajax’s two-goal lead was erased in a four-minute second half span, but the real fireworks started in extra time. Daniel Caligiuri scored to give Schalke a 3-2 aggregate lead, but Nick Viergever netted in the 111th minute before Amin Younes nabbed another in the 120th.

Genk 1-1 (3-4 agg.) Celta Vigo

Ugandan forward Pione Sisto scored in the 63rd minute to give La Liga’s side a two-goal aggregate advantage, and Leandro Trossard’s 67th minute answer was left waiting for a partner as Celta Vigo held on for a semifinal berth.

In flashiest show of English cash infusion yet, Wolves linked to big-money midfielder

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Sure, Paul Pogba cost Manchester United $116 million big ones, but that’s Manchester United.

In an even more glaring statement of the skyrocketing spending power in England, Championship side Wolverhampton has been heavily linked with a whopping $28 million move for Benfica midfielder Anderson Talisca. Wolves were recently purchased by Chinese conglomorate Fosun International back in mid-July, explaining the reported influx of liquidity.

The 22-year-old Brazilian moved to Portugal from his hometown club of Bahia in the summer of 2014, and has largely been a fixture for Benfica since coming across the pond.

This rumor picked up steam a few days ago after it was published in Noticias Ao Minuto, has since been updated by Portuguese newspaper O Jogo earlier Wednesday, and has been corroborated by The Sun. According to the O Jogo report, the deal is essentially complete, and all that’s left is for Talisca to receive a work visa allowing him to travel to Molineux Stadium and take a medical, something which Noticias reports is nearly complete. According to The Sun, Talisca’s agent Jorge Mendes and Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira were both present at Wolves’ opening Championship fixture at Rotherham on Saturday to discuss the deal.

Should this transfer complete as reported, Talisca’s price would be nearly half the reported price Fosun International paid to purchase Wolves. The deal would utterly smash the previous Wolves transfer record, more than tripling the $8.4 million paid for Steven Fletcher in 2010. It would also top the Championship transfer record set by Aston Villa just last week when they paid Fulham around $16 million for Ross McCormack.

According to some reports, Liverpool was interested in Talisca as well, but have been beaten to the punch.

Benfica scores twice late to shock Zenit, advance in UEFA Champions League

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Portuguese powers Benfica scored twice after the 84th minute to overcome Hulk’s second half header and advance past Zenit Saint-Petersburg into the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Benfica joins Wolfsburg and Real Madrid in the final eight after their 3-1 aggregate win. It was 1-0 after the first leg in Russia.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

Hulk put the game on the path to extra time with his 69th minute header, but Nicolas Gaitan scored in the 85th minute and Anderson Talisca scored in the sixth minute of stoppage to cap the game 2-1 and the tie 3-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

[ MORE: Europa League schedule ]