Kevin-Prince Boateng

AP Photo/Michael Probst

Prince-Boateng seals surprise loan move to Barcelona

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Kevin Prince-Boateng is moving from Sassuolo to Barcelona on loan with an option to buy for the Catalan giants.

The move is a big surprise, bringing the well-traveled 31-year-old midfielder to his 10th club.

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Prince-Boateng has four goals and two assists in 13 Serie A appearances for Sassuolo, and has 15 caps for Ghana (though he has not represented the Black Stars since their scandalous 2014 World Cup).

He’ll have plenty of chances to impress Ernesto Valverde in the next few weeks, with Luis Suarez the only other true center forward on the roster. Valverde has used Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele, or Munir El Haddadi in that role when Suarez has been unavailable.

He has spent two stints at AC Milan, as well as time with Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, and Hertha Berlin.

Saturday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: KPB to Orlando City, Liverpool in for Brazilian teen

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As the United States celebrates its Independence, there’s a chance Major League Soccer could add a big international name to its ranks. According to Gianluca di Marzio reporter David Amoyal, Kaka has called former AC Milan midfielder and current Schalke outcast Kevin-Prince Boateng about a possible move to Orlando City.

Boateng has made enemies at both the club and international level with a fiery temper and a quick trigger finger, but he also translates those skills to the pitch and would make a forceful signing for the Lions. Amoyal writes that Turkish club Galatasaray could be a possible landings spot for Boateng as well, but that Kaka is hoping to lure him to the United States. The two played at AC Milan, although Kaka arrived for his second stint just as Boateng left for Schalke. Orlando City’s designated player slots are full, but Boateng could be a perfect fit for the new Core Player rule.

[ MORE: Latest transfer gossip ]

According to a report by the Guardian and backed up by one from ESPN, Liverpool is looking to sign a Brazilian teen from his home country on a cut-rate deal. The report states Brendan Rodgers is on the verge of a sub-$1 million transfer to bring in 18-year-old midfielder Allan Rodrigues de Souza from Brazilian club Internacional.

Known as just Allan, the Reds discovered him at a tournament in Kuala Lumpur in which both Liverpool and Internacional youth teams played. The Liverpool youth squad has been heavy on the international recruitment this summer, also bringing on 16-year-old Dutchman Bobby Adekanye after a transfer from Ajax to Barcelona was declared illegal, and adding 17-year-old American striker Brooks Lennon from Real Salt Lake.

Juventus sporting director Giuseppe Marotta has said he’d like to take Juan Cuadrado off Chelsea’s hands should Jose Mourinho determine he is available. The Colombian midfielder was hit and miss at this summer’s Copa America, and there’s a chance his club could be open to a loan to get him playing time. “Cuadrado? We are open to all possibilities. If Chelsea offers him on loan with the option to buy, we would be happy,” Marotta told Italian publication Mediaset. Marotta also ruled out any interest in Mohammed Salah, whose future with Fiorentina is up in the air.

As reported yesterday, Lukas Podolski’s switch from Arsenal to Galatasaray is all but complete, with a medical scheduled for today. He was photographed with Galatasaray fans in Istanbul while holding a club scarf. The club itself confirmed he was in for talks, and that he will be revealed after his medical is complete. The move would be a permanent one and the fee is reported to be in the $17 million range, according to the BBC.

Report: Schalke has fired Roberto Di Matteo after failing to earn Champions League play

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The Bundesliga season wrapped up Saturday and Schalke not only found itself well outside the Champions League places, but they fell to relegation-threatened Hamburg 2-0 to help keep the victors from guaranteed relegation.

That appears to be the last straw, as the club has fired the Italian just the day after the season, according to reports by German publication BILD Sports.

With the club in third place in mid-February, the team took a nosedive, winning just three of its final 14 games and ending up well out of the race. Di Matteo’s sacking is still somewhat surprising, as it appears he will take the fall for a squad that is full of mistakes and holes. He’s only been in charge since October of 2014, when he replaced Jens Keller.

Di Matteo becomes the seventh manager fired by CEO Horst Heldt since taking over in 2010, a massive amount of employees come and gone for a club with Champions League aspirations.

The season was not all a failure. Di Matteo led the club to a Champions League Round of 16 matchup where they fell to Real Madrid 5-4 on aggregate despite a gripping 4-3 win in the second leg at the Bernabeu.

Unfortunately, the domestic failures were too much for Di Matteo to survive. There were some disastrous results down the stretch that led to this conclusion. Following a February 6 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach that left Schalke sitting in third place, the club slumped to failures such as a 1-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt, a 3-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, a 0-0 draw with 19th-placed Augsburg, a 2-0 loss to 11th-placed FC Mainz, and a 2-0 loss to 12th-placed FC Koln.

The Italian, though, had plenty of roadblocks to over come and is not the only man to take a fall for the club’s collapse. Two weeks ago Heldt inexplicably suspended players Kevin Prince-Boateng and Sidney Sam for a “lack of mutual trust” following the defeat to Koln. Boateng has been known to have a short fuse that’s gotten him kicked off the Ghanan international team, but the move reeked of scapegoating. Julian Draxler, the club’s best young star, was injured for much of the season and was left to a substitute role down the stretch, leaving question marks over the ceiling of his potential. The team’s defensive star and captain Benedikt Howedes also played out of position on the right flank for much of 2015 as Di Matteo changed from a back three to a back four.

Despite the sacking, plenty of offers are likely to come Di Matteo’s way, and there will assuredly be a few from England as many still have his miracle workings at Chelsea fresh in their minds.

Schalke in crisis: Two released, one suspended, Di Matteo’s European hopes in limbo

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Kevin Prince-Boateng has now been dismissed by club and country.

The 28-year-old midfielder was sent home early from Ghana’s failed World Cup run, and now has been kicked out of Schalke. Recently tipped for an MLS move to the New York Red Bulls, Prince-Boateng and Sidney Sam were released by Schalke on Monday. Additionally, Marco Höger was suspended for a week.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap ]

Just two months ago, Schalke was contending for everything short of Bayern’s throne. But a run of uninspiring play has seen the club win just one match since February, culminating in a 2-0 loss at Koln that Julian Draxler called “a truly awful performance.”

So manager Roberto Di Matteo has some big, big problems on his hands. Prince-Boateng and Sam had only made 18 starts between them, so it’s clearly a case of separating the wheat from the chaff, but Hoger has started the fourth-most matches on the side, with 25 (tied with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar).

And now they’re in a cluttered bunch working towards European places. With two games to play — against desperate but relegation-threatened Paderborn and Hamburg — can Schalke save its Europa League hopes?

5. FC Augsburg 32 14 4 14 39 40 -1 9-4-3 5-0-11 46
6. FC Schalke 04 32 12 9 11 41 38 3 9-5-2 3-4-9 45
7. Borussia Dortmund 32 12 7 13 43 38 5 8-3-5 4-4-8 43
8. Werder Bremen 32 11 10 11 48 60 -12 8-4-4 3-6-7 43
9. 1899 Hoffenheim 32 11 8 13 47 52 -5 8-3-5 3-5-8 41

It’s a dramatic move, but not necessarily a bad one. The dressing room will understand who’s in charge, and perhaps many Schalke players will be pleased to rid themselves of Sam and Prince-Boateng. In the case of the latter, New York beware, because while this guy’s got the work rate and aggression  of Jermaine Jones, he’s clearly got some demons to exorcise.

Report: New York Red Bulls chasing Ghanaian World Cup veteran Kevin-Prince Boateng

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The New York Red Bulls are off to a fine start to the 2015 Major League Soccer season, and yet reinforcements might just be on their way in the form of a Ghanaian World Cup veteran and member of a number of big European clubs.

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That’s right, following a report out of Italy, Kevin-Prince Boateng will leave Schalke at the end of the current Bundesliga season and could suit up for the Red Bulls as soon as this summer.

According to a report by the Metro‘s Kristian Dyer, the Red Bulls recently made a discovery claim on the 28-year-old Boateng, older brother of this Boateng, as well as holding “some level of discussion on coming to the league and possibly signing a contract.”

[ MORE: Report: Eddie Johnson’s contract voided by MLS, retirement imminent ]

Boateng generally plays as a central attacking midfielder and/or a second striker, which would fit quite nicely with the Red Bulls’ current attacking unit which features striker Bradley Wright-Phillips and little else following the retirement of Thierry Henry. According to Dyer’s report, the Red Bulls’ interest in Boateng is thought to be “legitimate.”

To date, Boateng has scored twice in 15 appearances for the Ghanaian national team, but found himself at the center of controversy and was ultimately sent home early during the Black Stars’ run at the 2014 World Cup.