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Brighton secures center-back Adam Webster on club record transfer

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Brighton & Hove Albion has become the latest Premier League club to break its transfer record multiple times this summer, announcing the signing of Bristol City center-back Adam Webster that sets a new mark.

The 24-year-old Portsmouth youth product has seen a meteoric rise over the past few years, joining Ipswich from Portsmouth in the summer of 2016 for just $1.2 million. Two years later he moved to Bristol City for $5.4 million and spent just one season at the Championship club, making 44 appearances and scoring three goals last campaign as Bristol City finished eighth in the league table.

Webster reportedly costs Brighton $24 million, topping the club record set just a month ago with the $22 million signing of winger Leandro Trossard from Genk.

Lower-tier Premier League clubs are finding the financial ability to top club transfer records not just by wide margins, but multiple times in one window. Newly promoted club Sheffield United topped its transfer record for a stunning fourth time this summer when they announced the signing of Swansea City winger Oli McBurnie on Friday. Even top clubs like Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and Manchester City all set transfer records this summer.

Webster signed a four-year deal with Brighton, the club announced in its official release, keeping him tied to the club through the summer of 2023. “He is a quality defender, comfortable on the ball and fits the profile of the player we want to bring to the club,” said Brighton manager Graham Potter. “He was very keen to join us. Predominately a centre-half, he can also play at right-back, and he will bring additional competition alongside our existing defensive options.”

Bournemouth snap up $15M defender, look to Burnley GK

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Bournemouth is already busy in the transfer market.

Eddie Howe‘s men have added a $16.5 million defender from Championship outfit Bristol City and may soon swoop to buy a $19 million goalkeeper from a Premier League rival.

The latter target is reported as Nick Pope, part of a deep Burnley goalkeeping corps that includes Tom Heaton and Joe Hart.

[ MORE: Kompany signed, hired by Anderlecht ]

The former would be Lloyd Kelly, who racked up more than 2300 minutes for Bristol and is expected to represent England with the U-21 side this summer.

Primarily a left back but capable of defending centrally, Kelly has 48 first team appearances with two goals and two assists to his name.

From The Bournemouth Echo:

“I’m still young and developing as a player but at the same time I feel like this is probably the best place for me to develop those skills, especially being around a Premier League team and playing Premier League sides,” Kelly said. “I feel like it will speed up that process a bit more.”

Championship Focus: Playoff picture, auto promotion far from settled

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Six Football League Championship fixtures took place in the shadow of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, providing the smallest bit of clarity in the race for promotion.

Leeds United won to move second and put a measure of pressure on Sheffield United, which has a match-in-hand, while Bristol City increased its stock while putting a hurt on West Brom’s hopes.

[ MORE: Spurs-Man City recap | Kane hurt | 3 things ]

The Baggies had won three-straight after firing Darren Moore, but have now lost two in-a-row. Both came away from the Hawthorns, and Tuesday’s defeat at Bristol City means the Baggies can forget about anything other than promotion via the playoffs.

Bristol, meanwhile, rode their three goals in the first 19 minutes to move fifth, four points clear of seventh.

Wednesday is day Leeds will be hoping for upsets, with Reading and Sheffield United expecting to collect three points (even if the Blades’ opponents, Birmingham City, have a point total that doesn’t match their skill level due to a 10-point punishment).

Here’s the road into the playoffs, and only two teams — one almost certainly Norwich City — will avoid it via automatic promotion.

Norwich City (1st, 84 points)

Wednesday v. Reading
Sunday at Wigan
April 19 v. Sheffield Wednesday
April 22 at Stoke City
April 27 v. Blackburn
May 5 at Aston Villa

The Read: It would be stunning if Norwich City doesn’t wrap up its place in the Premier League with 2-3 weeks to spare.

Leeds United (2nd, 79 points)

Saturday v. Sheffield Wednesday
April 19 v. Wigan
April 22 at Brentford
April 27 v. Aston Villa
May 5 at Ipswich Town

The Read: At least two exceptionally tough games in terms of desperate opponents means they’ll need to be good and get help from the Blades, who have one more match to play.

Sheffield United (3rd, 77 points)

Wednesday at Birmingham City
Saturday v. Millwall
April 19 v. Nottingham Forest
April 22 at Hull City
April 27 v. Ipswich Town
May 5 at Stoke City

The Read: Birmingham City is a tricky Wednesday test, but the Blades control their own destiny.

West Bromwich Albion (4th, 70 points)

Saturday v. Preston North End
April 19 v. Hull City
April 22 at Reading
April 27 v. Rotherham United
May 5 at Derby County

The Read: The Darren Moore firing bump is gone. Three of the five matches are against clubs with eyes on promotion (although Derby could be out by May 5).

Bristol City (5th, 65 points)

Saturday at Aston Villa
April 19 v. Reading
April 22 at Sheffield Wednesday
April 27 v. Derby County
April 30 at Millwall
May 5 at Hull City

The Read: In-form, yes, but Bristol City faces four teams in the playoff picture right now and two more who could be looking for points to avoid relegation to League One.

Aston Villa (6th, 63 points)

Wednesday at Rotherham United
Saturday v. Bristol City
April 19 at Bolton
April 22 v. Millwall
April 27 at Leeds United
May 5 v. Norwich City

The Read: Winning Wednesday would set up a huge “playoff six-pointer” on Saturday. This is a rough run to the playoff.

Middlesbrough (7th, 61 points)

Saturday v. Hull City
April 19 v. Stoke City
April 22 at Nottingham Forest
April 27 v. Reading
May 5 at Rotherham United

The Read: Tony Pulis‘ men have finally won again, but used up most of their mulligans on the way. Not dead, but will need help.

Derby County (8th, 60 points)

Saturday v. Bolton
April 19 at Birmingham City
April 22 v. QPR
April 27 at Bristol City
May 1 at Swansea City
May 5 v. West Brom

The Read: Losing at Blackburn on Tuesday stings, but points should be there for Frank Lampard‘s men.

There are others who could make a charge, but these are the protagonists.

Wolves reach FA Cup quarterfinals (video)

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Wolverhampton Wanderers are into the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time in 16 years, as Ivan Cavaleiro‘s first half goal was enough to edge the Premier League side past a spirited Bristol City on Sunday.

Second-tier Bristol City had several big chances in the second half but their run of nine-straight wins in all competitions came to an end as Nuno Espirito Santo‘s Wolves are now among the favorites to win the FA Cup.

The team who sit in seventh place in the Premier League continue their incredible season.

[ MORE: FA Cup scores, stats ] 

After a bright start from Wolves at Ashton Gate, the home side forced their way back into the game and created plenty of chances.

But just as the home side got a foothold in the game, Wolves took the lead.

Conor Coady‘s fine long ball found Matt Doherty and he pulled it back for Cavaleiro to slot home down the center and past Frank Fielding.

Raul Jimenez and Doherty then combined moments later as the latter clipped the post with a deflected effort, then Leander Dendoncker forced Fielding into a solid stop as the Premier League side threatened to run away with things.

In the second half Bristol City battled their way back into the game as substitutes Marlon Pack and Matty Taylor made a big difference.

After a great run from Marcus Brownhill it was Taylor who almost nicked the ball past John Ruddy, while Pack forced Wolves’ goalkeeper into a save after his shot from distance.

At the other end Joao Moutinho clipped the crossbar after Fielding got fingertips to his effort, while Bristol pushed forward late on in search of an equalizer.

Morgan Gibbs-White was denied by Fielding late on as Bristol were wide-open to counters as they pushed forward, and they should have taken the game to extra time.

Ruddy tipped over a shot from Taylor, Pack then somehow skied over the bar from close-range and then Romain Saiss cleared off the line.

Wolves were let off the hook and reached the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time since 2003.

Report: Bristol City offers $4M for USMNT GK Steffen

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Championship side Bristol City has lodged a $4 million bid for Columbus Crew and USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen, according to MLS insider Sam Stejskal.

Viewed as a potential long-term American No. 1 for his country, Steffen has thrived at Columbus since returning from a stint at Freiburg in Germany.

[ USMNT: More accolades for Pulisic ]

Stejskal reached Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter, who said multiple teams are interested in Steffen but did not confirm the Bristol City bid. Berhalter said, “We want to be a place where we get players and we develop them and we help them advance in their careers, wherever that may be.”

Steffen, 23, starred at Maryland before making the move abroad. He’s proven a fantastic young pro with a knack for stopping penalty kicks.

Bristol City finished 11th in the Championship last season with 30-year-old goalkeeper Frank Fielding, who had played 153 league matches for the club since 2013 and led the club to promotion from League One in 2015.

Some have openly questioned whether the Championship is a clear upgrade from MLS — don’t count this typer in that group — but this does seem like win-win for Columbus and Steffen if the player wants the move. The Championship has been good for the development of several American players including Tim Ream, DeAndre Yedlin (on loan from a Premier League club), and Lynden Gooch.