Duvan Zapata

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In-form striker Duvan Zapata injured on international duty

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This international break has been particularly brutal to clubs who have seen a host of key players go down with injuries, and there’s still a few days of matches remaining.

The latest player to succumb to injury is Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata who returned from Colombia duty with an adductor strain and will miss at least three weeks, according to Sky Sports Italia (via FootballItalia). Zapata went down 23 minutes into Colombia’s 0-0 friendly draw with Chile on Friday and was sent back to Italy for tests at his club.

Those tests have reportedly confirmed the initial fears. The loss of Zapata is a massive one for Atalanta, as the 28-year-old has been steadily building for years and is having a breakout start to this campaign, scoring six Serie A goals in seven matches plus one more in Champions League play, currently on a run of four consecutive games with a goal across all competitions. With Zapata’s help, Atalanta sits third in the Serie A table, having bagged the most goals of any team with 18 through seven games.

Zapata becomes the latest high-profile injury from this international break, joining Colombia teammate Alexis Sanchez who went down late in the same match and is reportedly out until 2020 with a serious ankle injury. Chelsea has been hit the hardest, with Andreas Christensen, Mateo Kovacic, and Reese James all pulling up while N’Golo Kante was injured in France warmups but he is expected to be fit for the weekend. Luka Modric may miss time after going down in a Euro qualifier against Wales, while Gareth Bale also picked up a knock in that match. Neymar went down in Brazil’s match against against Nigeria, which forced manager Tite to explain his reasoning for the selection in a friendly. Sergio Aguero is apparently struggling to train with Argentina thanks to a mystery injury confirmed by Lionel Scaloni. Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos withdrew from Spain training earlier in the week with “hamstring overload.” Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson left USMNT camp with a hamstring problem with the MLS playoffs on the horizon.

Report: West Ham has $45m striker bid rejected

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Duvan Zapata’s career half-year has made him an almost inexorable force in Serie A.

[ MORE: Juve wins again ]

The 27-year-old’s four-goal haul this weekend led him atop the Italian top flight in goals, level with Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Quagliarella.

Here is where it’s appropriate to pause and note that Quagliarella is going to turn 36 this month and we still think that number is too low. Didn’t he partner with Roberto Baggio or something?

His productivity has West Ham idealizing him as a fitting replacement for Marko Arnautovic, whether immediate or for next season, and Atalanta has reportedly spurned a $46 million offer for Zapata.

The five-times capped Colombian has 10, 11, and 14 goals in his last three Serie A campaigns, and the last number folds into his 17 across all competitions for Atalanta this season.

It would’ve essentially been a pound-for-pound deal for West Ham, who could allow Arnautovic to fly the coop for China.

Transfer rumor roundup: Veratti to Barcelona; Hart’s next loan home

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A roundup of Thursday’s transfer rumors from around the Premier League, and the rest of the world…

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Tuesday | Monday ]

Barcelona need to rebuild a midfield, and Marco Veratti is ready to leave Paris Saint-Germain. If you were to put two and two together, you might conclude that Barca should sign Veratti this summer, and you might just be onto something.

Not only have Barca been heavily linked with the 24-year-old Italian midfielder for a couple weeks now, according to some social-media sleuthing, Veratti, along with his agent, is said to have eaten dinner at the same Ibiza restaurant as Lionel Messi on Wednesday. Messi’s camp denies that he was even at the restaurant on Wednesday, but the Internet has never been known to tell a lie. Veratti could cost Barca as much as $111 million (100 million euros).

[ MORE: Man United confirm Lindelof signing ]


According to the Standard, Arsenal are willing to include Olivier Giroud in a player-plus-lots-and-lots-of-cash deal for Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old is expected to fetch close to $130 million if he moves this summer, meaning Arsenal would likely have to offer $120 million plus Giroud in any future bid. Monaco have already reportedly rejected a bid of $110 million from Arsenal. Alexander Lacazette remains Arsenal’s Giroud-plus-quite-a-bit-less-cash backup plan.

[ MORE: Donnarumma to leave AC Milan; Real Madrid come calling ]


Joe Hart‘s Manchester City career is all but officially finished, which means he’ll be looking for a new home this summer. West Ham United are one on a short list of clubs without a fully entrenched no. 1 goalkeeper, thus an obvious fit emerges. With Hart’s weekly wages ($150,000) and Man City’s desired transfer fee ($23 million) likely to prove insurmountable hurdles for a permanent transfer, the Standard reports Hart could move to east London on loan next season.

[ MORE: Bayern Munich sign Corentin Tolisso in Budesliga-record deal ]


With Romelu Lukaku seemingly set to leave Goodison Park this summer, Everton will need to replace the big Belgian who in three seasons at the club has scored 53 PL goals. If we’re to trust the public statements of an Everton scout, AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca and Napoli’s Duvan Zapata are “interesting” candidates.