Bundesliga

Aron Johannsson
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USMNT’s Johannsson finds new home in Sweden

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Aron Johanssson looks to reclaim his career momentum not in Major League Soccer as rumored, but instead in Sweden.

The Icelandic-Alabamian striker was unveiled by Hammarby on Thursday, where he’ll soon have match fitness according to his new club.

[ MORE: SMS to Man Utd? ]

Johannsson, 28, stays in green, having played just 30 times for Werder Bremen since transferring from AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie.

Here’s Jesper Jansson, Hammarby’s director of football.

Aron belongs to the same category of players as Jiloan Hamad, Muamer Tankovic and Alexander Kacaniklic did when they came here, players who for various reasons are in need of some of a new start in their careers, and for that category of players, Hammarby is attractive as a club,” Jansson said. “Aron is a moving, offensive player who makes a lot of goals, and we are very happy to be able to tie him to us.”

The 19-times capped USMNT striker has four goals on his international resume, and was last seen as an unused sub in 2016 World Cup qualifying losses to Costa Rica and Mexico.

Hammarby finished fourth in the 2018 Allsvenskan but missed out on Europa League due to BK Hacken winning the Swedish Cup. The club is currently six points back of third place with a match-in-hand on AIK.

Also pictured is former Greuther Furth player Richard Magyar, who played with USMNT midfielder Julian Green last season in 2.Bundesliga.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man Utd eye Lazio star, PL clubs duel for Joelinton

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Rampant links with transfer targets happen every summer at Manchester United, especially when a manager is involved with his first transfer window.

Throw in the Red Devils recent spells outside the UEFA Champions League, and there are plenty of wrinkles this go-round.

[ MORE: Latest on USMNT’s Cameron ]

For great players on middling clubs like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, however, Europa League football is a step up considering Lazio’s underwhelming 2018-19 season.

Lazio slapped a nine-figure price tag on the exceptional 24-year-old center midfielder; Milinkovic-Savic was the club’s top performer last season, and chipped in offensively with five goals and three assists.

That was a far cry from his 12-goal 2017-18 season, but he’s only gotten better in his defensive contributions. Sky Sports says the player likes the idea of moving to United, but would also be happy to spend another season in Rome.

Hoffenheim’s big, young Brazilian striker Joelinton is looking to take the next step in his career, with both Wolves and Newcastle interested in the 22-year-old.

Joelinton scored seven times with seven assists in his return to the Bundesliga, which came after two loan stints with Rapid Vienna. He posted a combined 15 goals and six assists in league matches with the Austrian powers.

Newcastle is in dire need of a center forward, with Salomon Rondon reportedly on the verge of a move from West Bromwich Albion to Dalian Yifang in China.

Wolves would add a target forward with playmaking abilities much like Raul Jimenez, who is 28 and will need relief with the West Midlands club eyeing up a Europa League campaign.

USMNT’s Sargent in ‘fantastic shape,’ says Werder Bremen boss

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There is some good news at United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter’s perplexing decision to deny Josh Sargent a spot on the U-20 World Cup roster and then cut him from the final roster at the Gold Cup.

Sargent, 19, is fresh as a daisy for Werder Bremen’s preseason, and coach Florian Kohfeldt is seeing good things from the striker.

[ MORE: West Ham after $45M Haller ]

“I’d have welcomed it if he’d have played at the finals because that kind of thing is always a good experience, but we also see the positives of him not being involved,” Kohfeldt said to the Bundesliga site.

Sargent scored twice in 10 appearances for Bremen’s first team last season, making one start. He was a menace for Bremen’s second team, scoring seven times with two assists in 12 appearances.

And Sargent hasn’t been sitting around stewing at his omission from the Gold Cup, even returning to his Bundesliga home earlier than required by Kohfeldt.

“I gave him the chance to spend some time with his family because he’s a long way from home here in Bremen, and can’t fly back to the US very often, but he didn’t want to. He told me that his full focus is on Werder Bremen. Now he’s come back in fantastic shape, which is really important for him.”

Bremen’s forward corps is a funny one this year, and Sargent has a chance to seize playing time alongside or ahead of 40-year-old Claudio Pizarro, returning striker Niklas Fullkrug.

West Ham reportedly on verge of $45M Eintracht striker Haller

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The end of Marko Arnautovic‘s cantankerous London act may’ve walked West Ham United right into a top upgrade on the Austrian.

Arnautovic left town for $27.6 million after Manuel Pellegrini and his players grew tired of the player’s antics and lack of loyalty, and now the Irons are being linked with a $45 million move for Eintracht Frankfurt’s Sebastien Haller on a four-year deal.

[ MORE: Revs add DP from Liga MX ]

Haller was a big part of an electric attack, combining with Luka Jovic, Goncalo Pacienca and Ante Rebic for 52 Bundesliga goals. Jovic’s 17 paced the group, but Haller was just two behind in 80 fewer minutes.

He added nine assists and was the highest rated player on the roster according to advanced stats site WhoScored.

Haller scored five more times in the Europa League, and is just 24 years old. This would be a huge addition for West Ham, which has plenty of suppliers highlighted by Felipe Anderson.

USMNT’s Steffen loaned by Man City to Fortuna

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U.S men’s national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been loaned out by Manchester City to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Steffen, 24, was bought by Man City in December and immediately loaned back to his former club the Columbus Crew until this summer.

Fortuna announced on Tuesday that following Steffen being the USMNT’s number one goalkeeper for the 2019 Gold Cup he will spend the 2019-20 campaign on loan with them in the Bundesliga.

“I am really looking forward to returning to Germany and becoming part of such a traditional club,” Steffen said about the move.

Fortuna’s sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel, who was a legendary goalkeeper himself, is delighted that Steffen has arrived.

“Zack Steffen is a modern goalkeeper who brings everything. He is technically very well educated, strong in one-on-one situations and footballing outstanding. Not without reason has Manchester City decided to sign Zack Steffen on a long-term basis,” Pfannenstiel said.

This return to Germany makes sense for Steffen. Ederson is the first-choice goalkeeper at Man City and Claudio Bravo is still around too with Daniel Grimshaw highly thought of. Ari Muric, another promising young goalkeeper, has signed a new deal at City and has been loaned out to Nottingham Forest, so there is plenty of competition for Steffen to get anywhere near the Man City first team.

Steffen came up through the youth ranks at SC Freiburg before heading to Columbus in 2016 where the former University of Maryland goalkeeper became a regular in MLS in 2017.

He will challenge Fortuna’s Michael Rensing and Raphael Wolf for the starting spot in goal for the team who finished in 10th place in the Bundesliga last season. That was a very good campaign for a newly-promoted side, as fellow USMNT man Alfredo Morales will help Steffen settle in.