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Newcastle gets 2nd Kenedy loan, sells Merino to La Liga

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Kenedy is returning to Newcastle United.

The Chelsea man will take a second loan season with Rafa Benitez after making a strong impression on Tyneside in the second half of the 2017-18 season.

The Magpies will have the option to buy Kenedy.

[ MORE: Mourinho on England, Croatia ]

The Brazilian left-sided man can play virtually any field position besides center back, and scored two goals with two assists for the Magpies last season.

“I am so happy with this interest from Rafa Benítez, that he came back for me,” said Kenedy. “I want to keep it going, the work that I did here before, for the new season.

Meanwhile, Mikel Merino‘s whirlwind time at St. James’ Park is done after just one season.

Newcastle is selling the Spaniard to Real Sociedad. Merino burst onto the scene on loan from Borussia Dortmund, and the Magpies quickly exercised an option to buy the silky midfielder.

But Merino dropped down the depth chart, making just two starts after New Year’s Day.

Transfer rumor roundup: Jorginho, Pjanic, Kenedy in the news

Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images
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Jorginho is in focus on Monday, as a Premier League club is reportedly offering a big fee to convince Napoli and the Italian that it is a better home than Manchester City.

The Etihad Stadium has seemed a foregone conclusion when it comes to the 26-year-old midfielder, a mainstay of Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli and a breakout member of the Italian national team.

[ MORE: Bobby Wood staying in Bundesliga ]

Sarri is under contract with Napoli, but no longer the manager at Napoli. Chelsea has been unable to land the manager due to an unwillingness to pay his release clause, and Football Italia says that the Serie A club is willing to pay about $71 million — $12 more than Man City’s offer — to bring Jorginho to Stamford Bridge. That would theoretically make amends for not Chelsea meeting the Sarri release clause (that they’d essentially be meeting. Yeah, it’s hard to keep up).

And Jorginho in the same midfield as N'Golo Kante and a more comfortable Tiemoue Bakayoko is frightening for much of the Premier League’s attack-minded midfielders.

Got that? Good, cause Man City understands and allegedly has a back-up plan who is also currently a Serie A star.

Miralem Pjanic is older and more expensive than Jorginho, but Calcio Mercato says Juventus may now be willing to move the Bosnian midfielder.

The 28-year-old former Roma midfielder had, oddly enough, been linked with Chelsea earlier in the summer.

With a $95 million asking price, the move would further fly in the face of what Pep Guardiola expected to be a summer without massive outlays. The report does say that Man City would start at approximately half that fee.

Back to Chelsea, they look ready to loan Kenedy back to Newcastle United after a Tuesday medical. The Brazilian left-sided man was a huge hit for Rafa Benitez in a half-season loan last season.

It would be another loan deal this year with a view to a Summer 2019 purchase should things go well. Newcastle wouldn’t be able to use him against Chelsea, obviously, but he was a game-changer in several of Newcastle’s notable second-half upsets.

Newcastle United 1-0 Huddersfield: Dominant Magpies break through

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  • Magpies miss myriad chances before Perez finishes late
  • Town remains in relegation trouble
  • Magpies’ third-straight home shutout

Ayoze Perez’s late goal sent Newcastle United seven points clear of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over visiting Huddersfield Town at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Town is just three points clear of the drop after the win, with David Wagner‘s men outclassed aside from a late push.

Chelsea loanee Kenedy now has two goals and two assists in seven matches for Rafa Benitez.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Town’s Aaron Mooy gave away a dangerous set piece and picked up a yellow card for a two-footed takedown of Ayoze Perez, and Newcastle presided over a 25-yard free kick just left of center. Jonjo Shelvey‘s effort was partially blocked by the wall.

The Magpies were buzzing, with Dwight Gayle having a bicycle kick blocked and Shelvey just missing the far post with his rebound bid.

Jonas Lossl slid to deny Matt Ritchie in the 16th minute, the visitors alive despite the early frenzy.

Shelvey used a quick free start to send Gayle 1v1 with Lossl, but the English striker’s cheeky chip was wayward. And Gayle lifted a DeAndre Yedlin cross over the bar in the 33rd. Messy.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

There was more Newcastle as the second half began, and the hard-tackling Magpies had the Terriers on the ground a few times over the first five minutes.

Newcastle was finally rewarded, with substitutes Christian Atsu and Islam Slimani (on debut) making an impact. Perez found Atsu on the right, and Slimani challenged Lossl for the cross before the ball fell to Kenedy. The Brazilian squared the ball to Perez for the finish.

Slimani won an 85th minute free kick, and Shelvey rocketed it over the bar.

Newcastle United 3-0 Southampton: Magpies seal big win

Anthony Devlin/PA via AP
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  • Magpies take 2-0 halftime lead
  • Saints’ Pellegrino job in danger
  • Ritchie adds insurance

Kenedy scored two first half goals and Newcastle United went a long way toward saving their Premier League status with a 3-0 win over Southampton at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Matt Ritchie also scored for the Magpies, who got one of Jonjo Shelvey‘s good days in winning the match.

Newcastle moves five points clear of the drop zone, into 13th, while Saints remain 17th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jonjo Shelvey started the opener, sending a long ball to Kenedy that the Brazilian chested down, turned Cedric Soares and grounded a shot past Alex McCarthy inside the far post.

Dwight Gayle had a pair of chances to make it 2-0. His first was saved, and his second would’ve been better left to Ayoze Perez. Gayle instead his a tame effort to McCarthy.

It was 2-0 when Perez was played down the middle of the pitch and used a slowing of the pace and a deft feed to Gayle, who cut across for a Kenedy tap-in.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The Magpies weren’t finished, thanks largely to some baffling defense from Southampton.

The third goal came courtesy of some passive defending atop the 18, with Shelvey given seemingly hours to operate and find a screaming and unmarked Ritchie. The Scotsman beat McCarthy to the far post for 3-0.

Martin Dubravka made a fine save as Saints had a 77th minute chance, and credit to them there wasn’t a let-off despite the three-goal hole.

PL AT HALF: What a goal, Jamie Vardy; NUFC’s Kenedy buries a pair

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Newcastle United has again started well in its bid to avoid relegation, and Jamie Vardy has an outstanding goal for Leicester City as five 10 a.m. ET matches have reached halftime.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Newcastle United 2-0 Southampton

Kenedy has a pair of goals on loan from Chelsea, and the Magpies have the home crowd roaring with a two-goal lead at St. James’ Park.

West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Leicester City

Jamie Vardy has answered Salomon Rondon’s opener with a spell-binding first touch goal at the Hawthorns.

Elsewhere
West Ham United 0-0 Burnley
Huddersfield 0-0 Swansea — Swans down to 10-men (J. Ayew)
Everton 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion