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Report: Guardiola’s involvement helped Man City land Harrison

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Jack Harrison was all set to sign for his hometown club Stoke City. Then Pep Guardiola got involved.

Excited about his future potential, Guardiola helped engineer Jack Harrison’s $6 million transfer to Manchester City and subsequent loan to Middlesborough right under Stoke City’s nose, according to a report from ESPN. Guardiola and Harrison’s former coach at New York City FC Patrick Vieira both believe the England Under-21 international can develop into a first-team player at the club down the line, but they are sending him to the Championship for additional seasoning.

[MORE: Latest transfer news]

Harrison signed a 3.5-year contract at Manchester City, leaving open the option of another loan next season if he can’t break into the first team before he’s really given a chance to shine at the Etihad.

Having Pep Guardiola’s blessing is crucial for Harrison, an MLS and college soccer success story who is set to take his game to the next level in the coming months. Harrison certainly took the road less traveled, moving to a private school in Massachusetts before spending a season at Wake Forest and then becoming a professional at 19-years old.

Now 21, Harrison had become a solid MLS starter for a playoff team and was ready to take the next step in his career. Perhaps others will see his career path and consider MLS as a proving ground for young players.

DONE DEAL: Laporte, Emerson, Lukebakio, Harrison

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Tuesday’s finalized transfers in the Premier League are plenty.

[ MORE: Man Utd extends Mata deal ]

Manchester City has signed another expensive defender, putting the finishing touches on the deal to bring French center back Aymeric Laporte to England from Athletic Bilbao. The 6-foot-3 defender provides a boost to a center back corp which has leaned heavily on Nicolas Otamendi this season.

City also announced the purchase of Jack Harrison from sister club New York City FC, and the instant loan to Tony Pulis‘ men at Middlesbrough.

“I can’t wait to get started over here,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed my time with New York City and I’d like to thank Patrick Vieira and his coaching staff for helping me to develop as a player. I feel I’ve really improved working under him and playing regularly in the MLS, but now I’m looking forward to testing myself in England. Middlesbrough are a good club, with Premier League experience and they’re in the mix for a return via the playoffs this season. Hopefully I can help them achieve that.”

Chelsea has added left-sided man — back and midfield — Emerson Palmeiri from Roma. The Brazilian is said to cost a little over $24 million and follows in the “Serie A to Chelsea” footsteps of Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta. If he works out in the same fashion as those two, life will be okay for Antonio Conte. Chelsea will have Ruben Loftus-Cheek back in town, but don’t get excited at the loan return of the electric Crystal Palace performer: RLC’s World Cup may be in doubt as his injury is explored further.

Also:

— Arsenal could not get 18-year-old Marcus McGuane to sign a new deal, and now we know why: The English youth international is going to try his hand abroad with Barcelona, joining the Barca B team.

— Watford has signed another winger, this time young Dodi Lukebakio from Anderlecht.

Sandro Ramirez is going on loan, but not to a Premier League club; Everton has sanctioned a Sevilla stay.

Transfer rumor roundup: Moura, Jorgensen, Harrison… and Neymar?

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The transfer rumor mill keeps buzzing as the January transfer window moves toward its conclusion.

[ MORE: Mourinho agrees new contract ]

Brazilian playmaker Lucas Moura prefers a move from Paris Saint-Germain to Tottenham Hotspur, according to Sky Sports. The price tag is said to be around $33 million, with Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla among the others looking into the 36-times capped Brazilian. Moura had scored 31 goals for PSG in the two seasons prior to this one, but Les Parisiens bought some guys named Neymar and Kylian Mbappe during the summer to chew up minutes on the wings.

Newcastle’s striker chase has been all over Europe, but for the past few days seems centered in the Netherlands and focused on Nicolai Jorgensen. The prolific 27-year-old from Denmark is said to have a $28 million asking price, though the Magpies’ willingness to double his salary might help force Feyenoord’s hand. Newcastle is expected to break its transfer record, set when it bought Michael Owen, to land Jorgensen.

Also:

— Fulham’s Tom Cairney is a regular in the transfer rumor mill, and the Cottagers don’t want to sell him. Yet West Ham is willing to offer $21 million for the Championship midfielder.

— PSG will reportedly agree to sell Neymar to Real Madrid — heel alert — if he leads Les Parisiens to the UEFA Champions League title. That’s not ridiculous, given the way PSG has performed in the UCL this season.

— Stoke City is reportedly willing to up its offer to $7 million in the hopes of landing hometown boy Jack Harrison from New York City FC.

Sources: NYCFC’s Jack Harrison expected to join Stoke this winter

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One of New York City’s biggest soccer stars could be retracing his routes back to England this winter.

Several MLS league sources have confirmed to Pro Soccer Talk that New York City FC winger Jack Harrison is being tracked by Premier League outfit Stoke City, and that a bid has been placed for the 21-year-old “in the range of $5 million.” That amount could move upwards of $6 million if incentives are reached.

Additionally, league sources have revealed to PST that a deal is “likely to be reached between the two sides” before the end of the winter transfer window.

[ MORE: Sergio Aguero continues to display brilliance for Man City ]

PST reached out to NYCFC for comment, but the club wasn’t available for immediate response.

Harrison was born in Stoke-on-Trent, and came up through Manchester United’s academy system as a youth player, prior to coming to the United States at the age of 14.

PL sides have until Jan. 31 to complete signings of players, which gives Stoke roughly 10 days to get a signature from Harrison.

Goal USA’s Ives Galarcep was the first to report the story of Stoke’s interest in Harrison. The Goal report states that Stoke’s initial bid for Harrison of $3 million was rejected by NYCFC last week.

Harrison was selected by NYCFC in the first round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, after the team executed a trade with the Chicago Fire. The 21-year-old was the first-overall pick in that season’s draft out of Wake Forest University.

In his time with the Eastern Conference MLS club, the England-native has scored 14 goals in all competitions, while adding 13 assists for the Cityzens.

Harrison earned his first call up with the England Under-21 national team in 2017 in a match against Scotland, before also appearing in a fixture against Andorra.

The interest from Stoke is far from surprising given the intrigue regarding Harrison from foreign clubs in the past. Stoke is currently in the midst of a fierce relegation battle in England, with the Potters sitting 17th place in the PL on 23 points.

Over the past year, Brighton & Hove, Everton and Leicester City are just a few of the sides that have tracked Harrison’s progress, although it never appeared that NYCFC was close to a deal with any of the aforementioned PL clubs.

From an NYCFC perspective, the move isn’t completely out of left field when considering the moves that technical director Claudio Reyna and manager Patrick Vieira have sought after recently.

The club has added attacking talents such as Designated Player Jesus Medina, Jonathan Lewis and Ismael Tajouri within the last 12 months to help prepare for such a move. Additionally, the club signed Norwegian forward Jo Inge Berget on Friday, further bolstering the team’s attack.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference giants still boast an attack led by forward and captain David Villa, while being complimented by Maxi Moralez and a strong midfield.

NYCFC’s Jack Harrison heading to the Premier League?

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Jack Harrison is said to be interesting multiple Premier League teams ahead of the January transfer window.

[ MORE: Harrison pens piece for PST ]

Harrison, 20, has starred for New York City FC in Major League Soccer during his debut two seasons in the North American top-flight and the Daily Mail reports that a trio of PL clubs are interested in signing him.

Leicester City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton are said to be the three teams interested in attacking midfielder Harrison and, of course, he wouldn’t need a work permit like most of MLS’ young stars.

His reported transfer fee of $10 million is also relatively low compared to similar young talents and he has plenty of experience in senior games at the relatively young age of 20.

Harrison left Manchester United’s academy as a youngster to attend high school in the USA at 14 years old and was named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year before starring at Wake Forest in the ACC for one season. He was then drafted to NYCFC and became an instant hit in MLS, playing a key role alongside Frank Lampard and David Villa at Yankee Stadium in his debut season in 2016 (4 goals) and he scored 10 goals in 34 games for the Bronx club in 2017 to prove his progression.

In a previous chat with Pro Soccer Talk he also revealed it was his “dream” to one day return to England and play in the Premier League. Now seems like a good time to make that happen.

Recently called up for England’s U-21 side, Harrison has shown that young English players can develop successfully Stateside and still reach the PL level. Would he play at Everton, Leicester or Brighton?

Maybe the latter two, but even then he may be a bit-part player to start with. Brighton would be a great place for Harrison to hone his trade and he would also get regular minutes under Chris Hughton, a manager who is known to give youth a chance. Still, it’s a gamble, especially given the fact that he’d be a regular for many years at NYCFC under the watchful eye of Patrick Vieira.

His pace, trickery and ability to finish have seen him flourish in MLS and given the praise lavished on Harrison by Lampard, it would seem that the youngster from Stoke-on-Trent could make the step up from MLS to the PL.

Of course, it wouldn’t be great for MLS to lose one of its brightest young talents but Harrison’s story and potential journey back to the PL would surely entice more top youngsters from academies across Europe to come through the collegiate and MLS system. That can only be a good thing.