Jadon Sancho

Sancho to Liverpool
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Transfer rumors: Kante to Real, Sancho to Liverpool

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There are big big names in the Premier League’s transfer gossip mill on Saturday, with updates on moves for Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek and a possible sale of two-time PL winner N’Golo Kante.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

Le10sport has a sensational story claiming Liverpool is ready to spend big on Jadon Sancho if Sadio Mane is sold this summer.

Sancho just turned 20 in March has been heavily connected with a move to Manchester United. He’s one of only four players in Europe’s top five leagues to collect double-digit goals (17) and assists (16) in league play (Lionel Messi, Alassane Plea, Serge Gnabry).

The England international’s fee is said to be $135 million, steep but rational given his age and similar sales. United has been reported to have backup options if Sancho does not wind up at Old Trafford but a Liverpool move would be a blow.

Any questions about a change in level should be answered by his success in Europe. Sancho’s scored or assisted against Barcelona, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Monaco, and Slavia Prague.

Mane has been wonderful but turned 28 in April. His four seasons with Liverpool are the most with one club in his career after two in Southampton, three with Red Bull Salzburg, and one with Metz in France.


Chelsea could look to fund its pursuit of Kai Havertz by allowing N’Golo Kante to be sold to Real Madrid, according to AS.com.

Kante turned 29 in March and has suffered from injuries this year but remains one of the best midfielders in the world. Chelsea, however, has faith in developing players like Billy Gilmour and may want to cash in on Kante at the end of the World Cup winner’s prime.

The cost would be around $90 million, no small fee even for Madrid especially after their massive outlay on Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Rodrygo, and Reinier Jesus since last summer.


Ronald de Boer offered some interesting and pointed comments about Ajax star Donny van de Beek potentially moving to Manchester United over Real Madrid.

Van de Beek has long been linked with Madrid but the move is reportedly in question due to finances and the uncertainty over the transfer market during the coronavirus pandemic.

De Boer took a shot at Paul Pogba in endorsing the idea of Van de Beek joining United (via Sky Sports).

“Solskjaer has indicated that he wants to go in a new direction and wants players who are humble, their heart is with the club, a team player. I think he is tired of the Pogba’s running around. He wants players like Donny van de Beek.”

That’s an unnecessary bit of shade there, Ron.

Transfer news: Sancho transfer fee set; Zouma to Tottenham

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In the latest transfer news an updated transfer fee has been revealed for Man United target Jadon Sancho, while Kurt Zouma has been linked with a move to Tottenham.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ] 

First up, not a day goes by without a new story on Jadon Sancho potentially leaving Borussia Dortmund as Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea seem to be the frontrunners to sign the England international.

According to the Telegraph, the 20-year-old winger will be available for $135 million this summer as Dortmund have admitted on several previous occasions that the Watford and Man City academy product will not be with them for much longer. The report also states that Man United are the frontrunners but are wary of paying the biggest transfer fee in Premier League amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sancho has scored 17 goals and added 16 assists in the Bundesliga this season and is having the best campaign of his fledgling career. Man United seems the most obvious destination for Sancho, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made signing young, British talent his top priority. See: Maguire, Harry; Wan-Bissaka, Aaron and James, Daniel.

Can Man United, or any club for that matter, afford Sancho right now? If anybody can, it is Man United.

Their pursuit of Sancho this summer is likely to hinge on whether or not the qualify for the Champions League via a fourth or maybe fifth place (if Man City’s UEFA ban is confirmed, fifth place in the PL will likely be given a UCL spot) finish, as executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has previously mentioned that getting back into the UCL group stage will have a massive impact on their finances.

Sancho’s talent is undoubted and clubs across Europe want to sign him. With Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes all part of Man United’s attacking lineup, there is a missing piece of the superstar jigsaw on the right wing. That is where Sancho comes in.

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Moving from Manchester to London, it appears that Kurt Zouma could be linking up with his former boss Jose Mourinho or heading back to Everton.

Zouma, 25, has been in and out of the Chelsea team this season under Frank Lampard and like most of the Blues defense he’s had a topsy-turvy campaign.

A report from the Daily Express says Everton (who loaned Zouma for the entire 2018-19 season) want him back at Goodison Park on a permanent basis but Tottenham are also keen on the French international. It is reported that Chelsea would allow Zouma to leave on a permanent deal for around $25.2 million.

Zouma signed for Chelsea when Mourinho was in his second stint in charge at Stamford Bridge and the Portuguese coach was a big fan of him. His Chelsea career suffered a cruel blow in 2016 when he suffered a serious knee injury when landing after an aerial challenge against Man United, but Zouma has been able to work his way back to full fitness, for the most part, at Everton last season and then with Chelsea this season.

Chelsea have been linked with Ben Chilwell, Nicolas Tagliafico, Achraf Hakimi and Nathan Ake, among many others, and sprucing up their defense is obviously key for Frank Lampard, as he also spends big on freshening up his attack. With Zouma not seeming to fit in his plans as Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori and Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of him in the pecking order, it is probably best for his career if he moves to a club where he will play regularly.

Zouma would do that at both Everton and Tottenham, although it seems unlikely Chelsea would sell Zouma to Spurs as they’d be strengthening a direct top four, and London, rival. At Spurs he would surely be a starter and Mourinho is desperate to strengthen his defense which has leaked goals ever since he arrived in north London. As for Everton, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina have developed a good partnership and the versatile Mason Holgate is an option too, but Zouma would probably start at Goodison.

It is likely Zouma will leave Chelsea this summer and it seems like Tottenham would be the best move for him, but it may not be the best move for Chelsea.

Bundesliga: No sanctions for George Floyd protests

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The Bundesliga and German FA have confirmed that Marcus Thuram, Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi will not be punished for their message of support for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN last week there have been widespread protests across the USA. A video showed former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, putting his knee on George Floyd’s neck for more than 8 1/2 minutes. Chauvin was arrested last Friday and charged with murder, authorities confirmed.

Over the weekend Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi revealed messages of support on their jerseys, while McKennie wore his armband saying ‘Justice for George’ and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram took a knee after he scored in the Bundesliga.

Clubs and players across Europe have since issued their support to the movement. As for the German FA, they said they are looking into potential breaches around rules on political, religious or personal slogans.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino called for ‘common sense’ to prevail over FIFA’s long-standing rules punishing players for wearing political, personal or religious messages on shirts or making gestures, while he added the four players should be ‘applauded not punished’ for their actions.

In a statement released Wednesday, the German FA and Bundesliga confirmed the quartet will not face any action over honoring George Floyd with their on-pitch protests.

“The DFB Control Committee will not initiate proceedings against Achraf Hakimi, Jadon Sancho, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram. The committee also intends to maintain this line in new anti-racism campaigns to mark the death of George Floyd on the coming match days.”

DFB vice president, Dr. Rainer Koch, added: “Of course, the DFB control committee always has the requirements of the FIFA football rules and the DFB regulations in mind. In the specific case, however, these are targeted anti-racism campaigns by the players, which are therefore committed to values ​​for which the DFB also stands for and always stands for. Therefore, no proceedings will be initiated, even with comparable anti-racism campaigns, in the next few weeks.”

DFB President Fritz Keller said: “The DFB is firmly opposed to all forms of racism, discrimination and violence and stands for tolerance, openness and diversity – i.e. values, which are also enshrined in the DFB statutes. Therefore the actions of the players have our respect and understanding.”

Bundesliga: Takeaways from Week 29

Bundesliga takeaways
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Two teams with American players going in two very different directions met Sunday in Gelsenkirchen.

Werder Bremen beat Schalke 1-0 via a wonderful Leonardo Bittencourt goal to give it plenty of hope of avoiding its first relegation in nearly 40 years.

[ Bundesliga: Fixtures, box scores ]

The win also gave plenty of misery to Schalke, who looks absolutely rudderless. David Wagner’s men are winless in 11 league outings with five draws and a total of three goals scored. Three of those losses have come to teams currently ranked 13th and lower on the table.

Schalke has produced nine shots on target in its four matches back from the break, with Weston McKennie’s diving header its only goal in 430 minutes. Next on the docket is a trip to Union Berlin before finishing with Bayer, Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolfsburg, and Freiburg.

[ MORE: USMNT mid McKennie wears black armband ]

Bremen, on the other hand, can move level on points with 15th place Mainz by beating Eintracht on Wednesday.

There are still tough matches on the docket including Wolfsburg and Bayern — the latter of whom may have already won the league by that June 16 home match — but Eintracht, Paderborn, Mainz, and Koln… there are points to be had there.

Also encouraging: American forward Josh Sargent has started all three matches of Bremen’s unbeaten run. He’s getting valuable experience and mettle for a 20-year-old, even if the direction has been, “Run around like a maniac and make lives miserable.”

Sargent is covering the entire field from his striker position, and he’s being noticed by defenders. He drew five fouls in 70 minutes, won 10-of-17 duels, and posted two tackles, an interception, and a clearance (Sofascore).


Player of the Week: There’s little question here. Jadon Sancho’s return to the Starting XI was an unqualified success as the English winger collected his first hat trick in a 6-1 win over Paderborn.

It was 0-0 before Thorgan Hazard opened the scoring, but Sancho had shown signs of life even while kicking off first half rust.

Sancho went 90 minutes in getting his three goals (57′, 74′, 90’+1), completing three of his four take-ons while passing at an absurd 92 percent given he plays much of his match in the final third.

[ MORE: Sancho honors George Floyd after scoring ]

Additionally, Sancho registered five key passes, two of which were classified as big chances by Sofascore.

He’s one of four players in Europe’s top five leagues to have double digit goals and assists (Alassane Plea, Serge Gnabry, and Lionel Messi). His price tag, rightfully, is going to be absolutely nuts, pandemic or not.

Paderborn v. Borussia Dortmund recap and video highlights
(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

BEST XI

Hradecky (Bayer)

Hakimi (Dortmund) — Torunarigha (Hertha) — Bender (Bayer) — Angelino (Leipzig)

Klaassen (Bremen)

Sancho (Dortmund) — Bittencourt (Bremen) — Thuram (Gladbach)

Plea (Gladbach) —  Lewandowski (Bayern)

Notes:

  • Klaasen joined Hoffenheim loanee Kevin Vogt in locking down the midfield against Schalke. Yes, we exhaustively covered Schalke’s offensive ineptitude but their steely performances won the day.
  • Thuram and Plea are a dynamic duo with power and skill. Plea is now one of the referenced four players with double-digit goal and assist seasons this year, while Thuram is likely to meet him there.
  • Twenty-two year old German youth international Jordan Torunarigha was very strong, making nine clearances, two blocks, an interception, and two tackles while passing at 85 percent.

SCORES

Freiburg 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen — RECAP
Mainz 0-1 Hoffenheim — RECAP
Hertha Berlin 2-0 Augsburg — RECAP
Schalke 0-1 Werder Bremen — RECAP
Wolfsburg 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt — RECAP
Bayern Munich 5-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf — RECAP
Borussia Monchengladbach 4-1 Union Berlin — RECAP
Paderborn 1-6 Borussia Dortmund — RECAP
Koln 2-4 RB Leipzig — RECAP


UPCOMING FIXTURES (Full season schedule here)

Week 24 reschedule
Werder Bremen v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 2:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Week 30
Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach — 2:30 p.m. ET Friday
Bayer Leverkusen v. Bayern Munich — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
RB Leipzig v. Paderborn — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Mainz — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Hoffenheim — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha Berlin — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Werder Bremen v. Wolfsburg — 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Union Berlin v. Schalke — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Augsburg v. Koln — Noon ET Sunday


STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 28 20 4 4 81 28 53 10-2-2 10-2-2 64
 Borussia Dortmund 28 17 6 5 74 34 40 10-3-1 7-3-4 57
 RB Leipzig 28 15 10 3 70 29 41 7-6-1 8-4-2 55
 Mönchengladbach 28 16 5 7 53 34 19 9-2-3 7-3-4 53
 Bayer Leverkusen 28 16 5 7 53 36 17 7-4-3 9-1-4 53
 VfL Wolfsburg 28 11 9 8 40 34 6 4-6-4 7-3-4 42
 1899 Hoffenheim 28 11 6 11 39 48 -9 6-1-8 5-5-3 39
 SC Freiburg 28 10 8 10 38 40 -2 6-2-5 4-6-5 38
 FC Schalke 04 28 9 10 9 34 45 -11 5-6-3 4-4-6 37
 Hertha BSC Berlin 28 9 8 11 41 50 -9 4-3-7 5-5-4 35
 1. FC Köln 28 10 4 14 44 52 -8 6-3-5 4-1-9 34
 FC Augsburg 28 8 7 13 40 54 -14 5-4-5 3-3-8 31
 1. FC Union Berlin 28 9 4 15 33 48 -15 6-2-6 3-2-9 31
 Eintracht Frankfurt 27 8 5 14 44 52 -8 6-4-4 2-1-10 29
 FSV Mainz 05 28 8 4 16 37 61 -24 4-2-8 4-2-8 28
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 28 6 9 13 31 53 -22 4-4-6 2-5-7 27
 Werder Bremen 27 5 7 15 29 59 -30 1-3-9 4-4-6 22
 SC Paderborn 28 4 7 17 31 55 -24 2-2-10 2-5-7 19

German federation explains review of players who honored George Floyd

George Floyd tributes in soccer
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BERLIN — The German soccer federation has defended its decision to assess whether four young Bundesliga players who made gestures in solidarity with George Floyd over the weekend must face sanctions.

The DFB also said on Monday that Jadon Sancho’s booking for removing his jersey to reveal a T-shirt with the demand “Justice for George Floyd” had nothing to do with the message — rather, the yellow card was issued because the 20-year-old England forward broke a rule that says players who celebrate goals by taking off their jerseys or lifting them over their heads must be booked for “unsporting behavior.”

Borussia Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi, 21, who displayed the same message after scoring in the same game on Sunday, was not booked because he did not lift his jersey over his head.

The DFB control committee is looking into their gestures and those made by Schalke’s 21-year-old American midfielder Weston McKennie and Borussia Monchengladbach’s 22-year-old French forward Marcus Thuram to see if the four players broke laws that prohibit players from displaying “political, religious or personal slogans.”

McKennie was the first to make a statement when he wore an armband with the handwritten message “Justice for George” around his left arm on Saturday.

Thuram on Sunday took a knee after scoring in Borussia Monchengladbach’s win over Union Berlin.

Sancho and Hakimi followed suit later Sunday.

Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Three other officers were also at the scene. Chauvin has been charged with murder and all four were fired.

DFB president Fritz Keller on Monday showed his respect and understanding for McKennie, Thuram, Sancho and Hakimi’s gestures.

“If people are discriminated against on the basis of their skin color, it is unbearable. If they die because of their skin color, then I am deeply distraught,” Keller said in a DFB statement. “The victims of racism need all of us to show solidarity.”

Keller referred to meetings with victims of discrimination and representatives of organizations that have faced anti-Semetic, anti-Muslim or racist hostility, and said the DFB and German soccer was showing its clear rejection of all forms of racism, discrimination and violence.

Keller also praised both male and female players for taking a stand and showing their solidarity.

“I’m proud of them. I can completely understand the actions from the weekend. Nobody can be indifferent to what happened in the United States,” Keller said.

Former Mainz forward Anthony Ujah was just given a warning by the DFB in 2014 in regard to the ban on political statements when he displayed a T-shirt with Eric Garner’s name and the words “can’t breathe” and “justice,” in reference to Garner’s death after a police officer placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold.

Now playing for Union Berlin, Ujah on Thursday tweeted a picture of his protest from the time, but with Floyd’s name typed above in bold.

Floyd also said “I can’t breathe” before he died.

“If the DFB’s control committee wants to investigate, then I have to ask myself if we all have the same values,” Union sporting director Oliver Ruhnert said. “It’s about a global issue here: The no to racism.”