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Stoke hopes $20m Ndiaye cures what ails them

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Stoke City completed what could be a season-saving pickup with the addition of Senegalese international Badou Ndiaye on Wednesday.

[ MORE: JPW grades every PL club ]

The $20 million price tag means only Giannelli Imbula has cost Stoke more money in the market.

Ndiaye, 27, comes from Galatasaray and is 14-times capped by Senegal with a goal. In a certain light, his success would make amends for what failed to materialize with the promising Imbula signing.

He led Gala in tackles and fouls per match. Here’s Paul Lambert‘s take on his new midfielder, from the Stoke Sentinel:

“I met him yesterday and had a quick chat and I know these things are pretty prolonged at times and I’m never sure until somebody says. I’m delighted he’s here.

“He’s going to the World Cup with Senegal. He’s a really good player which good energy for the game. Big crowds won’t faze him because he’s played in big grounds in Europe.

January addition Moritz Bauer has already started to stabilize the Potters’ back line with Kurt Zouma and Geoff Cameron, and Ndiaye could step up the middle of the park with Joe Allen.

Transfer rumor roundup: Schurrle to Newcastle, Spurs

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A new name has emerged on the loan market, as Borussia Dortmund forward Andre Schurrle is reportedly being made available for the second half of the Premier League season.

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Newcastle United reportedly leads the pack for the former Chelsea scorer, who is struggling to get time at BVB thanks to a glut of fantastic wingers including Christian Pulisic.

Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has a good relationship with the Westfalenstadion set, having taken Mikel Merino off their hands in August. Newcastle currently uses Christian Atsu on the left wing and Matt Ritchie on the right, but Schurrle can play center forward and Benitez may prefer to use the 27-year-old in the middle of his trident.

But they’ll face competition, and HITC says BVB is willing to pay half of his wages on an 18-month deal to keep him reasonable for some clubs. This could be a boon for Spurs.

Newcastle and Stoke City have also been linked with Galatasaray midfielder Papa “Badou” Ndiaye, with the Magpies said to have bid just a bit higher than the Potters but still under Gala’s buyout clause.

And here’s a wild one, according to ESPN: Chelsea’s rumored pursuit of current Premier League scorers now includes Marko Arnautovic. The audacious Austrian attacker cost West Ham around $35 million when his head was turned from Stoke City in the summer.

He didn’t perform well but Slaven Bilic, but David Moyes has been able to get some fine performances from the powerful Arnautovic. Chelsea has previously been linked with West Ham teammate Andy Carroll, Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, and Stoke’s Peter Crouch as it attempts to find a center forward to ease the burden placed on Alvaro Morata in his first Premier League season.

Video: Maicon’s free-kick screamer seals Galatasaray win

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There’s something about Brazilian players named Maicon that brings out the some of the best goals in soccer.

[ MORE: PST’s Midseason Premier League awards ]

Remember this guy?

Well, this wasn’t the Maicon we’re referring to, but you get what we’re saying.

Maicon Roque of Galatasaray scored one of the better free kicks you’ll see on Sunday during the team’s 3-1 victory over fellow Turkish side Goztepe.

Watch below as the Brazilian powerfully curls his shot into the top corner from the dead-ball opportunity to seal the points for his side.

Galatasaray moves up to second place in the Turkish SuperLig, just one point behind league leaders İstanbul Başakşehir

https://twitter.com/beINSPORTSUSA/status/944992297044795392

Report: Sneijder to sign 1-year contract with Nice

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Dutch legend Wesley Sneijder is on his way to France to sign a 1-year contract with French side OGC Nice, where he will team up with Mario Balotelli as the club looks to push forward after a last year’s surprising title challenge.

According to Dutch journalist Mike Verweij, Sneijder was spotted boarding an airplane in Amsterdam bound for France along with his family and agent Guido Albers.

[ MORE: Didier Drogba scores free-kick howitzer ]

Sneijder, 33 years old, saw his Galatasaray contract expire this summer after spending three-and-a-half seasons in Turkey. The decision was surprising given how productive he was for the Turkish club, assisting a whopping 15 goals in 28 league appearances last season, and scoring five.

With Sneijder’s creativity, Balotelli could thrive even more than he did last year, when he scored 15 goals in 23 league appearances to help Nice finish third in Ligue 1. Even with Balotelli’s goals, Nice struggled to score at times, with their 63 league goals a distant fourth in comparison with the other top Ligue 1 teams. The two previously played together for a season at Inter in 2009/10, before Balotelli departed the following summer for Manchester City.

The addition of Sneijder could help close the gap, especially with attacking midfielder Younes Belhanda leaving for Sneijder’s old club Galatasaray.

The report mentions that the signing will please the Dutch national team staff, as they prefer him to stay playing in Europe. Sneijder was linked to new MLS club LAFC, as well as with a move to China.

Report: DC United pursuing Nigel de Jong

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DC United is aching to improve its midfield, and is apparently aiming to land one of the league’s bigger busts to do it.

Granted Nigel de Jong wasn’t really in the league long enough to be considered a massive bust — we’re talking six months — but the reckless-tackling midfielder did manage to apologize to Stu Holden for breaking his leg hours before almost breaking Darlington Nagbe’s leg.

[ MORE: Correa to Newcastle? ]

That said, there’s little doubt that de Jong is an upgrade over DC’s current unit, and he’s known as a good locker room guy, which fits with their plans, according to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.

From The Washington Post:

One source said United is “not writing off this season” but recognizes a playoff berth is almost out of the question. In addition to de Jong, the club has extended offers for a second designated player as part of an effort to begin the rebuilding process right away.

Goff also included a nugget that DC tried to land Wayne Rooney earlier this summer.

De Jong has been at Galatasaray since leaving LA, and he has not been a strong contributor according to WhoScored.com. That said, he’s landed better than 90 percent of his passes and only a trio of yellow cards.

But forgetting tactics and even potentially landing some more butts in the seats, why? DC has lost six-straight and sits 14 points out of a playoff spot. Maybe it’d be worth showing their diehard supporters that they care enough to splash the money, and perhaps there’s another piece in the midfield that would make De Jong work for the Black-and-Red.

Two reasons we’d like to see it work out and the first is that Ben Olsen seems like a super decent guy and DC has made season-ending runs as recently as last year. The second is that the petty “Salute to De Jong” video the league put online after he left for Galatasaray, a compilations of his fouls and poor moments, would become next level hilarious.