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Report: Porto, Lyon, Ajax after Canada’s Jonathan David

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Jonathan David may be the next Canadian to play for a top European side.

Porto, Lyon, Ajax, and Benfica are all interested in signing the soon-to-be 20-year-old this winter from KAA Gent, according to France’s L’Equipe.

David wouldn’t come cheap however, as the Belgian side are reportedly asking upwards of $22 million for his services. Porto are reportedly the only team to have submitted an official offer for the Canadian thus far.

The French report states that David is Lyon’s second-choice. Villarreal’s Karl Toko Ekambi, who is also linked to Premier League clubs, is Les Gones‘ main target.

David has spoken publicly about the interest clubs throughout Europe have on him. “Clubs with an interest must speak with my agents,” David told the Belgian outlet Sporza in January. “I am fully focused on Gent and want to win as many competitions as possible here.”

The New York-born forward has had a super season thus far, scoring nine goals and assisting seven times in Belgium.

In December, David was named the Canadian Male Player of the Year after scoring nine goals for the national team in 2019.

Debuting in 2018, David has made 12 appearances for Canada, scoring 11 goals.

West Ham, Chelsea reportedly make bids for Gedson Fernandes

Chelsea and West Ham bid for Gedson Fernandes
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The Gedson Fernandes sweepstakes have a pair of London entrants.

The Portuguese playmaker has been linked with Manchester United, West Ham United, and a bevy of other suitors, and has reportedly drawn a concrete offers from the Irons and Chelsea.

It’s said that the Blues made a loan-to-buy offer with an eventual $72 million price tag for Fernandes, who turns 21 on Thursday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Chelsea’s offer would turn into an obligation to buy if Fernandes played in 50 percent or more of their matches. That’s a big ask for a youngster at Chelsea, given their depth.

West Ham is linked with a $43 million loan-to-buy offer, too, according to Sky Sports.

A center midfielder who can play forward, he’s also played left and right midfield.

Fernandes is out of favor at Benfica, his single-minute cameo for Bruno Lage on Jan. 4 a first league outing for since November. Lage is a former Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday assistant under Carlos Carvalhal.

Fernandes has not recorded a goal or an assist this season, but the twice-capped Portuguese international has a solid resume. He has three goals and seven assists in 59 senior appearances.

‘Anything can happen’: Nuno, Solskjaer respond to Jimenez’s links with Man United

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Shortly after Wolves and Manchester United scoreless draw in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, Nuno Espirito Santo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addressed the rumors involving Wanderers’ marquee striker Raul Jimenez and Manchester United.

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Just before the first whistle, reports surfaced linking the 28-year-old striker to the Red Devils, who recently missed out on landing their reported top target Erling Braut Haaland, who instead signed for Borussia Dortmund.

The transfer links were news to the Portuguese manager, who all but confirmed that Jimenez is for sale.

“It’s the first-time I heard it,” he said. “Ole didn’t mention anything about that. But the transfer window is open. When it is open, anything can happen. [But] we are delighted to have Raul.”

Jimenez took the field in the second half at Molineux Stadium against Manchester United but failed to widen his goal count which stands at 17 this season.

Last year, Jimenez was named Wolves’ Player of the Season after recording 17 goals and eight assists, aiding them to their first European competition in 40 years. This season, the Club America product has matched last year’s goal count and has nine assists to go with it, proving that he’s indispensable for the Premier League outfit.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have yet to replace Romelu Lukaku – a forward with a similar profile to Jimenez’s – since his departure to Inter Milan on transfer deadline day in August. Solskjaer and company are looking to bolster their attack that currently features the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

Solskjaer, too, was asked about Jimenez’s probabilities of arriving at Old Trafford, but the Norwegian’s tone was equivocal, claiming that many great players are linked to his club.

“[He’s] another good player we’ve been linked with,” he said. “He came on and did well [but] I cannot comment on these situations.”

In July, Jimenez signed with Wolves from Benfica for a club-record $43 million.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man Utd linked with Benfica mid; Moyes targets duo

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Erling Haland has moved to Borussia Dortmund and Pedro may be departing Chelsea, so what’s next?

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Manchester United is looking toward Benfica center midfielder Gedson Fernandes, according to Sky Sports.

Fernandes, 20, has a big price tag attached to him but that fee may take a dive given the player has dipped down his manager’s pecking order.

The report says it could be a loan deal with a $45 million option to buy, well shy of the player’s $134 million release clause.

He was twice-capped by Portugal in 2018, and has three goals and seven assists in 58 first team matches.

The low obligation loan-to-buy would likely be tempting for any number of teams, as Fernandes is yet to meet his potential but certainly had loads of it.


New West Ham boss David Moyes is already being tipped to chase two familiar names as he demands better from the Irons’ most recent buys.

Neither has starred in the top flight in recent days, as Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has just one goal in 282 minutes this season. But he was a Europa League monster last season, and put together 13 goals and 10 assists in 45 matches last season.

Then there’s Joe Allen, who’s scored three times in 23 Championship appearances for Stoke City this season. He stayed with the club following its relegation but may be open to a top flight return.

The 29-year-old has 199 Premier League appearances.


Newcastle United is turning its eyes to Scotland for another attacking threat.

Lewis Smith, 19, has caught the attention of the Scottish Premiership at Hamilton Academic, where he’s scored four times with three assists this season.

He’s played in the center of the park and at right midfield as well on both wings. Smith has repped Scotland as the U-17 and U-21 levels.

Benfica loanee Parks readies for playoffs with NYCFC

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Keaton Parks plays the kind of hard-to-quantify midfield role that sends both stat nerds and eye test takers to a very good place.

Barely 22, the New York City FC midfielder doesn’t stand out in any one particular area. Since arriving on loan from Benfica, the American shuttler (of sorts) ranks near the top of the club rankings in pass percentage and aerials won while chipping in tackles and successful dribbles.

[ MORE: PST talks public pitches, youth development with NYCFC director Reyna ]

He’s averaging near one key pass per game but has just a goal and an assist, due more to his responsibility in Dome Torrent’s system than a particular skill set (He has eight goals and seven assists across two-plus seasons between Varzim and Benfica B).

“In the midfield it really helps to play both sides of the ball,” Parks told ProSoccerTalk. “I take pride in doing that, and I love to make a tackle as much as getting in the attack and assisting or scoring goals. It doesn’t bother me that I’m not scoring or making all of the assists. I like to be the solid player who keeps the balance on the team.”

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Parks has been an enigma to American soccer fans for some time in that he’s been in a celebrated club in Benfica but playing in a developmental role that’s near impossible to track without single-minded dedication to Portuguese football (Dramatic? Sure, but you try to catch every Liga Pro game).

But in moving to New York City FC to play under Dome Torrent, he’s had an easier transition than most due to his upbringing with Benfica, which annually ranks amongst the top possession teams in Portugal. Torrent, of course, left his last managerial gig at Girona in Spain to spent a decade-plus on Pep Guardiola‘s staff at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City.

“Dome likes to play a possession style, a confident style,” Parks said. “I still have to fight for my spot on the team but the playing style I was used to right away.

“You can see the experience Dome has, and he mirrors a little bit of what Pep does, so it’s been amazing to be able to learn from him and see the experiences of the players he’s been able to coach in his career.”

NYCFC begins its playoff run on Wednesday against Toronto FC at Citi Field in Queens, and Parks says he’s feeling better after missing three matches with injury.

And while he’s focused on the playoffs — “We want to win the Cup and be at the top” — there is a question of what’s next for him, still on the books at a perennial UEFA Champions League club but very important with a CONCACAF Champions League club.

[ MORE: MLS Playoffs preview/predictions ]

“I’m just going to be looking forward to whatever club I’m at next, whether here or back at Benfica or wherever I am and also with the U-23s going into Tokyo next summer.”

He’ll, in theory, be an imperative part to Jason Kreis, ironically a former NYCFC man himself, and the Yanks bid for a first Olympic run in three cycles. The team should be powerful, and Parks is happy.

“I’m definitely excited,” he said. “We have so much talent on the team with guys playing first division all over the world. I believe we can make a run all the way to these Olympics.”
NYCFC and Toronto FC kick off 7 p.m. ET Wednesday at Citi Field.