Jasper Cillessen

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Barcelona sign Neto in goalkeeper swap with Valencia

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Brazilian goalkeeper Neto will sign a four-year contract with the Spanish champions.

The transfer completes a swap a day after Barcelona sold Jasper Cillessen to Valencia.

Barcelona says it is paying 26 million euros ($29.5 million) plus possibly another 9 million euros ($10.2 million) in variables for Neto. Valencia paid Barcelona 35 million euros ($40 million) for Cillessen.

Neto will replace Cillessen, who played as a backup for Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Champions League and the Spanish league and only regularly started in the Copa del Rey.

The 29-year-old Neto helped Valencia qualify for the Champions League with a fourth-place finish for the past two seasons in Spain. He also played in Italy at Juventus as a backup to Gianluigi Buffon and at Fiorentina after starting at Brazilian club Paranaense.

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Report: Jasper Cillessen completes move to Valencia

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After spending three seasons at Barcelona mostly as a backup, goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will now have the opportunity to earn significant playing time as the Dutchman has reportedly completed a move to Valencia, with Neto going in the opposite direction.

Hector Gomez of Valencia-centric show Tribuna VCF reports that Cillessen has completed his medical with Valencia.

According to a number of Spanish reports, including AS and Dario SPORT, the two deals will be done separately and completely at slightly different times for equal amounts of money to help out Valencia in financial fair play. Neto will move to Barcelona before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, while Cillessen’s deal will be officially completed after the start of the 2019/20 fiscal year on July 1, helping Valencia bank the $34 million transfer fee in the recently completed season before sending that money right back officially part of next season.

The 30-year-old Cillessen has been with Barcelona since joining from Ajax in 2016, making just five La Liga appearances for the club while backing up Marc-Andre ter Stegen. He did serve as the regular domestic cup goalkeeper, helping Barcelona to Copa del Rey titles in 2016/17 and 2017/18 before losing last season to Valencia in the final. Despite not playing much for Barcelona, Cillessen is still the starter for the Dutch national team and has been since mid-2017 when he won the job back from Jeroen Zoet and Maarten Stekelenburg.

Neto, meanwhile, presumably returns to a backup role he served at Juventus for two years, stuck behind Gianluigi Buffon. He was the starter for Valencia the past two seasons, helping the club to two consecutive fourth-place finishes in La Liga play.

Cillessen to replace De Gea at Man United?

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Jasper Cillessen has emerged as a leading candidate to replace David De Gea at Manchester United.

De Gea has just one year left on his contract at United and the Spanish goalkeeper has yet to commit his future to the Old Trafford club. It is believed De Gea wants a new deal matching the $635,000 per week wages United’s top earner Alexis Sanchez is on.

A report from the Daily Record in Scotland states that Cillessen, 30, wants to leave Barcelona this summer and the Catalan club want $32 million plus performance based add ons for the Dutch international goalkeeper.

Would this be a good move?

It is clear DDG went through a rough spell at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, but he was named the PL’s best goalkeeper in five of the past seven seasons and United’s player of the season in four of the last five campaigns. His quality is undoubted and it is quite possible his poor recent form is due to uncertainty around his future.

But if it seems unlikely that De Gea will sign a new contract, United should cash in this summer. Real Madrid aren’t too happy with Thibaut Courtois and that seems like the most likely destination for DDG. That way United get at least $30 million for De Gea, and probably more if they play their cards right, and don’t run the risk of losing him for nothing next season.

As for Cillessen, the former Ajax star has spent three seasons as a back up for Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the Nou Camp and at his age he now needs to start playing regularly. He is good with his feet and is a regular starter for the Netherlands on the international stage.

De Gea has enjoyed an incredible career at Old Trafford and in recent seasons his heroics have kept United within touching distance of the top four and in the hunt for trophies.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bony to West Ham, Hart could stay at City

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All signs have pointed towards Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart – cast aside by new manager Pep Guardiola in dramatic fashion – departing the Etihad before the transfer window shut.

With Hart benched and a replacement deal all but complete, it makes too much sense. However, a report suggests that may not be the case.

According to BBC’s David Ornstein, things have happened so suddenly that Hart feels he might not have enough time to ponder the best move for himself and his family, and thus could likely stay at City to fight for his place.

The options are limited in the first place. Everton seems to be the only Premier League destination with any legs, but even they have just purchased Maarten Stekelenburg this summer, and while Hart would represent an upgrade, it’s still an unsettling position purchasing a player to replace one you’ve just purchased. Sevilla is also reportedly interested, but the Spanish club is seemingly second-guessing itself and the interest seems on and off at best.

Despite all this, reports over the past few days suggest that Hart’s mentality is to avoid a short-term out, which is what Sevilla would likely represent with interest in a loan only. It feels more likely that the 29-year-old will stay at City – at least until the winter – than make a kneejerk move to a new club in the next two weeks.

Much of this Hart business seems contingent on Manchester City signing Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, which likely won’t happen before the Catalans secure a replacement. It seems the club is adamant on having two goalkeepers, which they have done for the past two seasons, sharing the time between Bravo and young Marc-Andre ter Stegen. With ter Stegen staying put, they would like to bring in someone at least as competition, if not to continue sharing time.

A pair of players have seen their names crop up among rumors the most. First is 23-year-old PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who has just broken into the PSG first team this season for the first time. With Kevin Trapp remaining the starter and cast-away Salvatore Sirigu still not moved, it’s possible a move to Barcelona could be mouth-watering for Areola.

The other, seemingly more likely option is Ajax starter and Dutch international Jasper Cillessen. The 27-year-old has a wealth of experience, having started regularly for the Dutch giants the past three club seasons, and finding himself as the first-choice national team starter since late 2013 as well.

A Manchester City fringe player who seems more likely to leave is Wilfried Bony, who suddenly has a suitor thanks to a nasty injury elsewhere.

With new signing Andre Ayew out for months after tearing his quad, West Ham are yet again left without a star striker to feature alongside Andy Carroll. With little time to find a replacement, Bony seems like a solid fit on a short-term loan, considering the Ivorian is on the outside looking in at the Etihad.

Kelechi Iheanacho‘s new five-year contract suggests that Bony is stuck behind both the youngster and superstar Sergio Aguero, and his best bet for immediate playing time would be a move to the Olympic Stadium. It’s unlikely that West Ham would have the money set aside to complete a permanent move for Bony for anything less than a massively cut-priced deal given the sudden nature of their need, so a loan is likely preferable for the Hammers.

Everton is doing most of its business late in the window, and they may have swooped in on another club’s target.

According to reports in France, the Toffees have submitted a bid for Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal and may have seen it accepted. West Ham have been tracking the player for weeks, even reportedly submitting a pair of rejected bids, and now Everton may have taken advantage of the Hammers’ slow build.

Ghezzal, 24, has reportedly rejected a new contract at Lyon and therefore has been shopped around this summer. The winger has been left out of the Lyon squad to start the season, but that is due to an adductor tear that will keep him out a further 2-3 weeks.

The Everton bid for Ghezzal is reportedly $12.5 million, with West Ham’s rejected bids in the range of $8 million and $10 million. Their interest in the Algerian is surprising given their recent deal with Yannick Bolasie, although Bolasie is more proficient on the left side of the pitch, whereas Ghezzal is primarily a right winger.

Netherlands 3-4 USA: USMNT plays the role of comeback kids in Amsterdam


With just 32 days remaining until the start of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the U.S. national team kicked off its final round of pre-Gold Cup roster announcement friendlies on Friday. The Yanks’ late rally from a two-goal deficit reversed the Americans’ trend of conceding late goals, instead scoring a pair of their own inside the game’s final five minutes to beat the Netherlands, 4-3 (full highlights below), in Amsterdam.

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Victory for the USA was their first-ever win over Holland as Gus Hiddink’s side were great going forward, hitting the woodwork twice late on, but were all over the place at the back and the U.S. took full advantage.

The lineup deployed by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was short a number of key contributors — Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Jozy Altidore, to name a few — and averaged 23.5 years of age among its 11 members, and yet somehow, it was five younger-for-older substitutions in the second half that tilted the game in the USMNT’s favor.

The game’s first real chance fell to the feet of Gyasi Zardes in the 15th minute. The LA Galaxy striker pounced on the botched clearance of two Dutch defenders outside their own six-yard box. Zardes made a quick turn eight yards out from goal and fired a quick snap-shot on goal, but Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen made a quick-reaction kick save.

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After struggling to do so very early on, Klinsmann’s side found its footing and the Yanks settled into a nice spell of possession and looked the more dangerous side for the ensuing 10 minutes. Michael Bradley, captaining the USMNT on his 97th international appearance, fired a low, left-footed shot off Cillessen’s left-hand post in the 19th minute, and Fabian Johnson’s follow-up shot went inches wide of the opposite post.

In the 26th minute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar lost U.S. defender John Brooks, got behind the American backline and raced in, one on one, with Guzan. Brooks made a desperate recovery run, though, reeling the Dutch marksman in and made the last-ditch block of Huntelaar’s shot.

[ RELATED: Comeback win massive for USMNT confidence ahead of big summer ]

Less than a minute later, Huntelaar wouldn’t waste his next chance, a header from 11 yards out. Manchester United new boy Memphis Depay served up the in-swinging cross, which eluded Brooks and fellow center back Ventura Alvarado, and found the head of Huntelaar, who finished like the prolific goalscorer he is (40th international goal).

The USMT equalized just six minutes later, though, when Zardes used the entirety of his 6-foot-2 frame to get on the end of Johnson’s out-swinging cross to the back post. Zardes applied the outside-of-the-foot finish from an extremely tight angle, and the ball found the back of the net after a deflection off Cillessen for his first international goal.

[ RELATED: Klinsmann reacts to USMNT’s wild win in Amsterdam ]

The second half began with the Dutch pouring more pressure on the U.S. defense in the 47th minute, as Robin van Persie headed Daley Blind’s left-footed cross goalward, only to see Guzan palm the ball away from close range. The rebound then fell to Van Persie, whose quick backheel was cleared away from goal by Kyle Beckerman.

A minute later, Huntelaar doubled his tally and restored the Dutch lead when he headed home Gregory van der Wiel’s cross from the right, beating Michael Orozco at the near post and beating Guzan once again.

Four minutes later, Huntelaar nearly completed his hat trick, if not for a deflection off Depay six yards out from goal. Huntelaar’s first-time shot from outside the penalty area looked destined to challenge Guzan once again, but the goal-bound ball glanced off Depay, wrong-footing the American ‘keeper and finding the back of the net to make the score 3-1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage | Gold Cup 2015 | MLS ]

Following four substitutions in quick succession, the Yanks pulled a goal back in the 70th minute, when Bradley played DeAndre Yedlin into the Dutch penalty area, where his simple, squared cross found the boot of a seriously overlapping Brooks for the easy finish at the back post.

Danny Williams pulled the USMNT level in the 89th minute with a fierce strike and deflection outside the penalty area, which beat Cillessen at the near post. A minute later, Bradley played Jordan Morris down the right side of the Dutch penalty area, where he crossed to the top of the six-yard box and Bobby Wood redirected the ball inside the far post for an unlikely 4-3 comeback victory.

The USMNT returns to action next Wednesday, June 10, when they’ll face the current World Cup holders, Germany, in a friendly in Cologne, Germany.


Netherlands: Cillessen, Janmaat (van der Wiel 46′), Bruma, Martins Indi, Blind, Clasie (Sneijder 78′), Wijnaldum, Promes (Narsingh 46′), van Persie (Propper 56′), Depay, Huntelaar (de Jong 78′)

Goals: Huntelaar (27′, 49′), Depay (53′)

USMNT: Guzan, Shea (Yedlin 57′), Brooks, Alvarado (Orozco 46′), Chandler, Morales (Diskerud 56′), Beckerman (Williams 63′), Bradley, Zardes (Morris 81′), Johannsson (Wood 65′), Johnson

Goals: Zardes (33′), Brooks (70′), Williams (89′), Wood (90′)