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Transfer Rumor Roundup: West Ham, Brighton, Leicester City all on the prowl

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A number of Premier League clubs are using the coronavirus shutdown to take a closer look at transfer targets around Europe and even the globe, with ample time to discuss business and review tape.

According to Greek publication Sportime, Leicester City is looking closely at the possibility of replacing either Ben Chilwell or Ricardo Pereira with both the Foxes’ full-backs becoming hot commodities this season. They have reportedly identified Greek international Konstantinos Tsimikas of Olympiakos as a possible option. The 23-year-old has impressed this season, including good performances in Champions League games against Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur, boosting his value to a reported $28 million.

Tsimikas was linked with Rangers in late 2019, but with his value increasing since then, he could be out of their price range now. The Sportime report states that while a couple of Serie A clubs are on his heels as well, the player is specifically interested in a shot at the Premier League, giving Leicester City a leg up on the competition. With his contract expiring at the end of the 2022 campaign, the time is now for Olympiakos to sell and receive solid value.

According to a report out of Australia, Brighton & Hove Albion is set to pull the trigger on a deal for young Sydney FC midfielder Cameron Peupion. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a deal is so close, “the next training session Peupion takes part in is likely to be with Brighton.”

The 17-year-old reportedly had a trial with Brighton after the U-17 World Cup where Australia qualified for the knockout stages before being downed by eventual finalist France in the Round of 16. The report does not state how much Peupion would set Brighton back but says he is extremely close to joining fellow Aussies Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan with the Seagulls. The report also name-drops former Brighton player Paul Reid who is now an assistant coach with Sydney FC as one of the driving forces behind the deal.

Spanish publication AS reports that West Ham has shown the most interest among a small group of suitors for Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez. The 23-year-old center-back has earned under 1,000 league minutes so far this season and is looking elsewhere for more playing time. Everton and Arsenal are both mentioned in the report as following Nunez as well, who has turned down a contract offer with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2023. He reportedly has a $32.6 million release clause in his current deal, which is partly the motivation for the club hoping to extend him.

Everton has struggled to get young Italian striker Moise Kean going on the field after securing him last summer from Juventus, but the 20-year-old still has clubs wishing to buy low and return him to his former self. Roma is reportedly one of those clubs, according to Italian tabloid Il Messaggero, with Kean’s performances for Juventus still on the Serie A side’s mind. He exploded onto the scene as a 19-year-old, earning him a trio of caps for the Italian national team.

The report states that Roma is looking for a new striker, a sensible move considering the team’s only true strikers, Edin Dzeko and Nikola Kalinic (who is on loan from Atletico Madrid), are 34 and 32 years old respectively. This could push them to explore Kean, and while Everton will likely push back as the striker is still just 20 years old, the Toffees could be tested if Kean desires a return to his home country.

Brighton, Cincinnati prepare to discuss Locadia’s future

Jurgen Locadia
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Jurgen Locadia’s big MLS transfer has not gone as planned, through no fault of his, FC Cincinnati’s, or parent club Brighton and Hove Albion.

Locadia’s loan to Cincinnati was sealed Feb. 3, giving him just under five months to decide whether he had interesting in staying in the U.S. for the next part of his career.

The 26-year-old got all of two matches to feel it out, scoring once before MLS shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The extremely small sample size has been kind to Locadia, who says that his agent had spoken to Brighton and that he’s open to making the move permanent. That’s a loaded statement given the money it might take to acquire a player who was Brighton’s transfer record signing just over a year ago.

“I like it here so far in Cincinnati and the league also,” Locadia told The Cincinnati Enquirer and “I talk with my agent also and he said at the end of the day it’s my decision, and I told him I’m happy here, so if we can figure something out with Brighton and Cincinnati, which I understand is going to be difficult, we can try and fix the situation.”

FCC general manager Gerard Nijkamp said he’ll be talking with Brighton in the next few days, but that the situation is a massive challenge. Imagine the questions: What does Brighton want? When can the player move? Has the end of the loan window changed at all? And what reinforcements will Brighton be able to buy given the wildly unusual conclusion to this season (and their possible relegation)?

Locadia was also asked what he likes about MLS.

“I think here in the States, the fans enjoy the game more and in Europe I get the feeling that people are more judge-y about the game,” Locadia said. “Here in the States, they come to enjoy the game and see the players and drink beer. And in Europe it’s more like, we need to win and they’re gonna judge you. They don’t like when you play the ball back to the goalkeeper.”

Well, maybe wait on that one. There might be a bit more patience in Cincinnati given it’s their second year in MLS, but other clubs have plenty of fans amped up for victory.

Brighton’s Potter joins Howe in taking voluntary pay cut

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Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter has joined club chief executive Paul Barber and technical director Dan Ashworth in taking a voluntary pay cut for the next three months.

The trio said the decision was made to support chairman Tony Bloom’s “significant efforts to protect all jobs at our club and charity.”

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Clubs all over the world have been furloughing workers if not laying them off altogether as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on club finances.

On Thursday, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe became the first Premier League manager to take a voluntary pay cut. The clubs were also together in a prior initiative to reward medical workers.

Here’s Potter, via

“I spoke with Tony Bloom a couple of weeks ago, and I just felt like a normal thing to offer him because he has been good to me. I know the pressure he is under as a chairman and the challenges he faces. It is a small thing we can do but I think it was an important offer.

“Tony being Tony said, ‘Thank you very much but, at the moment we are working through things.’ As things have moved forward, I think we have come to the right decision to do what we have done.”

Man City’s Pep Guardiola donated $1 million to fight coronavirus in Catalonia. Whether donations or pay cuts, surely more will come.

The Latest: Brighton, Bournemouth aid workers; MLS extends moratorium

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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on soccer around the world:

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Major League Soccer has extended its moratorium on team training through April 3 and still wants players to stay in their team’s local market.

MLS has targeted May 10 as a potential return date.

Team training facilities may be used only for physical therapy purposes at the direction of the team’s medical staff.

The Spanish soccer federation has announced measures to help smaller clubs financially.

The measures include a loan of 4 million euros ($4.3 million) to help pay the salaries of players and coaches.

The loan will be available to clubs from the third and fourth divisions, and futsal clubs. It can be paid back without interest over two seasons.

The federation also says it will negotiate a credit line for teams in the first and second division.

Federation president Luis Rubiales says the federation’s doctors will be made available to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, and the national team’s hotel can be used as a hospital if necessary.

Premier League teams Brighton and Bournemouth have become the first clubs to sign up to a campaign to make 100,000 free soccer tickets available to medical workers on the front line during the coronavirus outbreak.

The initiative was conceived by executives at Brighton, which has committed to giving National Health Service workers 1,000 tickets for matches and has invited other clubs from the Premier League, English Football League, Scotland and Northern Ireland to join in.

Bournemouth immediately followed suit, offering “a minimum of” 1,000 tickets.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber says “we feel this is a small way in which we can show our gratitude for those NHS staff on the front line who are fighting the battle on behalf of all of us and give them something to look forward to.”

What we love about Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton and Hove Albion
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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Brighton and Hove Albion.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On to the Seagulls!

Lewis Dunk is a monster: A 6-foot-3 defender with a knack for doing some things in the attacking third, too, Lewis Dunk has chewed up nearly 26,000 minutes for the Seagulls between the Championship and Premier League. Whether linked to Leicester City or Chelsea, Dunk has kept his footing in the south and we’re the better for it. He’s three appearances from 300 for the Seagulls, and only Adam El-Abd (324) remains in his viewfinder.

We love Brighton’s unique derby: Brighton is 40 miles from South London, where Crystal Palace holds matches at Selhurst Park. That makes the M23 Derby rivalry between the Eagles and Seagulls — it rhymes! — even more special. Both stadia have great atmosphere, and catching the unique rivalry holds a worth place on several English soccer bucket lists.

Brighton and Hove Albion
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The Albion: An old name with a long story, which may come from the white cliffs of Dover. Read up here.

Glenn Murray: Well-traveled, yes, there are few more likable scorers than Brighton’s 36-year-old big man.

The next big thing amongst English managers: Graham Potter played for 11 clubs in England, but he needed to go to Sweden to break into management. A two-time Swedish Football Awards Manager of the Year and one-time Swedish Sports Awards Coach of the Year at Ostersund, Potter impressed in just one season at Swansea City before bringing his attack-minded football to Brighton. The Seagulls are only two points clear of the drop zone, and are having their best defensive season since returning to the top flight. Season No. 2 could be a marked improvement if Potter keeps the team in the top flight.

Brighton and Hove Albion
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)