Leonardo Ulloa

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Ulloa joins Brighton; Sakho leaves West Ham

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Done deals are starting to trickle through as we edge closer to the January transfer window closing on Wednesday.

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Two deals for Premier League strikers were completed on Monday with Leonardo Ulloa heading back to Brighton & Hove Albion, plus Diafra Sakho has left West Ham and joined Ligue 1 side Rennes.

Watch live, Transfer window show, Jan. 31, 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com


Ulloa, 31, has joined the Seagulls on loan for the rest of the season after falling out of favor at Leicester. He put in a transfer request last January but wasn’t allowed to leave amid reports of unrest behind-the-scenes with then boss Claudio Ranieri. Ulloa signed a contract extension in the summer but has played just six times this season.

The Argentine striker spent 18 months at Brighton from 2013 to 2014 when they were in the Championship and became a fans favorite as he scored 26 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions. Ulloa was sold by Brighton to Leicester for $11.2 million in 2014 and scored six goals in 29 appearances during Leicester’s title-winning season in 2015-16, including plenty of crucial late goals in their incredible title success.

Overall he’s scored 20 goals in 102 appearances for the Foxes but has seen his chances become extremely limited with Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Islam Slimani now all ahead of him in the pecking order.

Brighton are the second-lowest goalscorers in the Premier League and Ulloa’s arrival will add plenty of experience alongside new club-record signing Jurgen Locadia.


Diafra Sakho has finally got his move from West Ham with the Senegalese striker joining Ligue 1 side Rennes for $11.2 million

Sakho, 28, has wanted out of the Hammers for quite some time and was caught up in a bizarre case on Transfer Deadline Day back in the summer when he flew to France to complete a medical with Rennes… without West Ham’s permission.

He has scored 24 goals in 71 appearances in all competitions since arriving at the Hammers from Metz in the summer of 2014 but he’s fallen out of favor over the past 12 months under Slaven Bilic and now David Moyes with injures also playing a big part.

Sakho started his West Ham career in fine fashion, scoring six goals in his opening six games for the club which saw him named the Premier League player of the Month for October 2014. Since then he’s found minutes tough to come by with Andy Carroll and several other forwards placed ahead of him.

With PL clubs such as Crystal Palace and Swansea City said to have been interested in signing Sakho, the Senegal international was also keen on a return to France. He’s got his wish and West Ham have got plenty of cash for a player who has struggled with injuries and form.

However, with Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic out injured, it does leave Moyes very short up front at a pivotal stage of the season. Surely the Hammers have a new forward lined up to arrive before Wednesday’s deadline and help bolster their chances of staying up.

Transfer rumor roundup: Sakho finally off? Payet money to be spent

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It’s. Transfer. Deadline. Day. (Finally.)

Following the conclusion of seven Premier League fixtures (at roughly 5 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, be sure to tune in to the live transfer roundup show, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundupSunday | Saturday | Friday ]

Mamadou Sakho is expected to leave Liverpool at some point on Tuesday, though the club reportedly don’t intend to part with the 26-year-old center back for anything less than $25 million. Crystal Palace, Southampton, Sevilla and Galatasaray have all been linked with the French international who is yet to make a single appearance this season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Moussa Dembele‘s move from Celtic to Chelsea is said to be off, for now at least, as the 20-year-old has been told by his current club he’ll be going nowhere on Tuesday. The Blues were linked with a nearly $40-million move for the striker (scorer of 20 goals in 38 games this season).

[ MORE: Four things to look forward to in midweek PL games ]

West Ham United have a cool $31 million to spend following Dimitri Payet‘s return to Marseille, and they’re reportedly considering a big of $19 million for 24-year-old Brentford striker Scott Hogan. With 14 goals scored in 25 games this season, Hogan currently sits fifth in the race for the Championship’s Golden Boot.

[ MORE: FA Cup 5th-round draw full of “magic of the Cup” ]

Sunderland have reportedly offered nearly $10 million to Leicester City in exchange for want-away striker Leonardo Ulloa.

Today’s possibilities are endless for Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez, who is reportedly deep in discussions with the club regarding his future. Saints’ signing of Manolo Gabbiadini is expected to become official today, which leaves Rodriguez’s future uncertain. West Bromwich Albion have long been interested, for a fee of $13 million.

Palace are reportedly also close to completing the $16-million signing of 25-year-old Olympiacos captain and Serbian international goalkeeper Luka Milivojevic.

Hull City were thought to be close to a deal for 21-year-old Angers striker Nicolas Pepe — a much-needed replacement following the sale of Robert Snodgrass to West Ham United — until Newcastle United entered the race. The winner will part with nearly $10 million.

Ulloa says Leicester’s Ranieri not living up to word

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Leonardo Ulloa is raging at Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri.

The veteran striker claims that Ranieri said he’d sell him for the right offer if one arrived during the January transfer window.

The magic number? $5 million to $6.25 million, according to Ulloa. The striker claims better offers than that have crossed Ranieri’s desk, and has expanded on his earlier social media claims.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks ]

From Sky Sports:

“The manager has been telling me for the last three months and the last two weeks that if an offer of around £4-5m was arriving to the club, he will help me to leave.

“My understanding is that at this moment, there are offers around those figures or even bigger that are not being considered.”

Ranieri doesn’t want to sell Ulloa as he feels the Argentine is his only proper backup for Islam Slimani.

VIDEO: Ulloa, Mahrez label Leicester “unbelievable” after Swansea win

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Following a 4-0 win that left Leicester City needing just five points to clinch the Premier League title, the players spoke about the big victory.

With a pair on the scoresheet, Leonardo Ulloa spoke about replacing the suspended Jamie Vardy in the starting lineup.

“I am happy because this team is unbelievable, you know?” Ulloa said. “We played so good. We missed Vardy, he’s a very good player, but we played well and I enjoyed playing with this team and this teammate [looking to Riyad Mahrez]. It’s so great, this result.”

[ MORE: Game recap of Leicester City’s 4-0 win over Swansea ]

Asked whether the absence of Vardy meant he had to step up himself, Riyad Mahrez said that it was the team that had to come up big, not just him.

“A little bit, but in this team we don’t need just one player, we are really together,” Mahrez said. “Sometimes I have to score for Vards or Leo, but like I said, this is a team and I’m very happy.”

The win means that Leicester City’s magic number is just five now, as a combination of five points either for Leicester City or dropped by Spurs will officially clinch the championship. But Mahrez is doing his best to focus on each task at hand with it not yet set in stone.

[ RELATED: Leonardo Ulloa heads home Leicester’s second goal against Swansea ]

“Three games to go now, eight points clear because [Spurs] didn’t play yet. But we just focus on our team because we have everything in our hands and we keep going, next game after next game, and we will see what we can do.”

Leicester City 4-0 Swansea City: Mahrez, Ulloa move Foxes eight points clear

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Well, it turns out Leicester City isn’t a one-man team. Not that there was any doubt.

Without Jamie Vardy, the Foxes grabbed a pair of goals from his replacement Leonardo Ulloa and another from Riyad Mahrez as they stormed Swansea City 3-0 at the King Power Stadium to move eight points ahead of Tottenham at the top of the table.

The game took some time to build off the opening whistle, but a cataclysmic moment for Swansea was all Leicester needed to move in front. Mahrez stole a horrible Ashley Williams pass in the Swansea defensive third, and the Foxes went in front as Mahrez slotted it into the bottom corner for a 1-0 lead.

It was a disastrous moment for Swansea, who have relied on Williams for years as their defensive rock, but his lumped ball struck Mahrez in the torso, and the Leicester attacker was able to settle and do the rest.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

As Leicester maintained possession while holding the lead, the King Power Stadium was absolutely exploding with noise. Leicester City got a second on the half-hour mark as captain Wes Morgan won a free-kick on the left flank, and the free-kick by Daniel Drinkwater met Leonardo Ulloa’s head, and the man in place of Jamie Vardy scored.

The move was all made possible by a mind-boggling run from Swansea defender Federico Fernandez, who ran around the back of the pack and played three Foxes onside as Drinkwater sent in the ball. Had he stood his ground, the flag would have gone up.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Swansea moved into the ascendency as Leicester hoped to hold at 2-0 until halftime. Gylfi Sigurdsson took a free-kick from straight on with less than five minutes to the break, and his swerving, bouncing effort was turned aside by Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester wrapped it up in the 60th minute as Schmeichel distributed to Jeffrey Schlupp down the left. Schlupp took Fernandez to school, freeing him to go for goal. He looked to find Ulloa streaking down the other end of the box, and while his first attempt at a cross was blocked, Schlupp worked to get it back, and Ulloa tapped it in with a slide to the post.

For posterity, the Foxes grabbed one more with five minutes to go as substitute Marc Albrighton finished a selfless bit of play by fellow substitutes Demarai Gray and Andy King. Gray found King at the far post with a lofted cross, and while King’s header back in front of net for Albrighton missed its target, it fell back to Schlupp. His initial effort rebounded to Albrighton who crashed home Leicester’s fourth.

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The only worry for Leicester in the match would be the end of Ulloa’s day, which came early due to what appeared to be a back problem. He was substituted off in the 79th minute in clear pain, and should Vardy find himself suspended extra matches, it could leave Claudio Ranieri with a lack of strikers.

All in all, it was a stunning response by Leicester to the draw last time out, and the Foxes moved a whopping eight points clear of Tottenham, although Spurs have a game in hand. The magic number for Leicester City is now five, meaning a combination of five points for Leicester and dropped by Spurs would officially hand the Foxes the title.

Swansea, meanwhile, has little to play for, already safe on 40 points in 14th position but without another target to aim at.