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Koulibaly to Liverpool
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Transfer news: Koulibaly to Liverpool, Jimenez to Juventus

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The transfer rumor mill continues to hum along despite the window not opening for some time.

[ MORE: Liverpool drops points for 3rd time ]

That’s not a surprise with a lot of contracts expiring at the end of the month and some teams’ new knowledge of their fate for next season.

Koulibaly to Liverpool

A Virgil van Dijk-Kalidou Koulibaly partnership at Liverpool is a monstrous and imposing idea, but the Reds so far have only offered a discount bid on the Napoli star.

Reports out of Italy say the Reds sent a $67 million offer to the Coppa Italia champions, but that Napoli remains steadfast in their $112 million asking price.

Recently linked to Manchester United and even Newcastle if a takeover happens, Koulibaly is a massive talent.

He turned 29 on Saturday and has a contract in Naples through 2022-23. Koulibaly has 33 Senegal caps and 235 appearances for Napoli after beginning his career with Metz and Genk.

Jimenez to Juventus

Wolves’ big price tag on Raul Jimenez seems likely to turn most teams off the 29-year-old Mexican, but that won’t stop teams from circling the Molineux.

A report out of Italy says Juventus would love to woo Jimenez to Turin but that his $65 million price tag is a bit too much.

Jimenez broke Wolves’ PL single season scoring record with his 14th goal of the season in Saturday’s defeat of West Ham.

It should be noted that Jimenez has little reason to want to move with Wolves still holding the chance to qualify for the Champions League via the league route or a Europa League title.

He’s having a career year with a number of players who also look set to stick around under boss Nuno Espirito Santo. But we’re here to bring the rumors, just in case.

Vertonghen to Roma, Smalling to Roma

Longtime Tottenham Hotspur center back Jan Vertonghen has been a steady part of the club’s return to top four prominence.

He may be looking to help AS Roma steady its ship in Serie A, according to Sky Sports.

Vertonghen, 33, has made 311 appearances for Spurs since arriving from Ajax in 2012. He’s been linked with a return to the Amsterdam set or Inter Milan prior to the Roma report.

The 118-times capped Belgian could play alongside fellow PL mainstay Chris Smalling, as Roma’s reportedly ready to buy the loan star off Manchester United after one more loan campaign.

Premier League social media wrap: Rashford honored, Mendy banters

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The Premier League world continues to move toward the return of soccer, while its social media eyes are trained in several directions.

In Monday’s edition of the PL social media wrap, we visit players from several clubs including both of Manchester’s top-flight sides in addition to a defender in the Northeast and a mournful note from Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

It’s Independence Day in Argentina, and several players were Tweeting love back home from their homes in the Premier League.

Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia, Man City’s Nicolas Otamendi, and West Ham’s Pablo Zabaleta shared their love for home.

Newcastle’s Federico Fernandez celebrated with Napoli’s clever photo of a makeshift Argentine XI, as the Serie A club has had a lot of strong players from the South American nation.

Didn’t see himself lining up with Diego Maradona any time soon, we imagine.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy came out of his shell to share some thoughts on social distancing.

The outgoing French left back is no stranger to quips, and used his Twitter to post a reminder to stay vigilant in keeping distance from others.

Mendy posed with Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi, and Eric Garcia at City’s training ground Monday.

You may note that he also tagged Bernardo Silva. That’s banter, and see the second Tweet for detail.

On the other side of Manchester, forward Marcus Rashford shared an honor bestowed upon him for his vigilant work raising money this coronavirus pandemic.

Rashford has been working with a group called Fair Share UK to provide free meals for underprivileged people during the pandemic.

Last month, he doubled his personal donation and shared a story that he was once one of the children who’d need such contributions to get by.

Rashford was given a special recognition award by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and said, “To be recognized by my city is a special feeling.”

Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger is mourning the loss of a friend, as former Roma academy player Joseph Bouasse died of a heart attack at the age of 21.

Rudiger was with Roma from 2015-17 apart from a loan to Stuttgart in Germany, and Bouasse was a center mid in their academy.

The Chelsea centerback shared a photo of Bouasse on Monday. It’s always so stunning when a someone so young, let alone an elite athlete, succumbs to heart problems. Our hearts are Bouasse and the Roma family tonight.

Italy lockdown eases, paving way for Serie A return

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Serie A is coming back to the training pitch soon.

Italy is moving into Phase 2 of its return from the coronavirus pandemic on May 4, meaning players can return to individual training on that day.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Group training would begin May 18, and matches could restart June 2. There were some reports that the Coppa Italia could restart before Serie A in order to give most of the league’s clubs more time to return.

Italy’s death toll Saturday was its smallest in six weeks, but Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte stressed the need to continue social distancing measures to avoid another climb for the curve.

Things will still be very closely legislated, via Football-Italia:

From May 4 and for the next two weeks, until May 18, we will confirm the social distancing guidelines, so travel should still be reduced within a region for unavoidable work or health reasons. However, we will also allow targeted family visits, but only targeted ones with social distancing and use of protective masks. There are to be no large family gatherings from May 4.

Responses to the coronavirus pandemic have been varied across leagues. The Eredivisie is done, with no public events expected in the Netherlands until Sept. 1. The Bundesliga wants to play in May if the government gives the green light.

The goal posts are being moved often, and that’s understandable. Getting it right is the most important thing. Let’s see if Italy and Germany set the table for England and the United States.

AS Roma players, coaches forego four months salary

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AS Roma’s players and staff are taking four months of pay cuts to help the club keep its staff, and they are also picking up the tab on staff salaries post-furlough.

Manager Paulo Fonseca and club captain Eden Dzeko brought the idea fo Roma management, who is said to be taking a pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“We always talk about unity at Roma and in volunteering to cut their salaries for the rest of the season, the players, the coach, and his staff, have all proved that we really are in this together,” said chief executive officer Guido Fienga.

The four months of pay gives Roma some relief should the club not resume the season, but I Giallorossi‘s players will be paid if the season picks back up.

According to Roma’s official site, “If the current season resumes and is completed, the club and the players, coach and his staff have agreed an incentive plan to be paid subject to the achievement of certain sporting objectives.”

Roma sits fifth on the Serie A table and is comfortably positioned to qualify for the Europa League. The club sits three points back of a UCL spot, though Atalanta also has a match-in-hand. Both Atalanta and Roma remain involved in European competition, should that move forward.

Inter v. Getafe, Sevilla v. Roma postponed

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Two Europa League games on Thursday have been postponed due to concerns over coronavirus as Inter Milan v. Getafe and Sevilla v. Roma will not go ahead.

UEFA released a statement on Wednesday confirming the news as Getafe’s president had previously said they would not travel to Milan to play the Round of 16 first leg game, while Roma issued a statement saying the Spanish authorities would not allow their plane to land in Seville.

Here is the statement in full from UEFA on the postponements:

“The UEFA Europa League Round of 16 matches between Sevilla FC (Spain) – AS Roma (Italy) and FC Internazionale (Italy) – Getafe CF (Spain) will not take place as scheduled. As a result of the travelling restrictions between Spain and Italy imposed yesterday by the Spanish authorities, the following UEFA Europa League Round of 16 matches will not take place as scheduled tomorrow, 12 March 2020. Further decisions on the two matches will be communicated in due course.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers have also issued a statement criticizing UEFA after they wanted their game at Olympiacos to be postponed due to Olympiacos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Olympiacos have since confirmed all of their staff and players have been tested and their tests have come back as negative and the game will be played in an empty stadium in Greece.

Coronavirus fears have also caused the postponement of Man City v. Arsenal, and the sequestering of several Arsenal players due to coming in close contact with Marinakis 13 days ago after a Europe League game against Olympiacos.

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