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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bolasie nearing Everton switch, Fabregas offered to Juventus

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Everton is set to capture Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie, with the Congolese international heading to Merseyside to complete a medical on Sunday, according to multiple reports.

This comes on the heels of Palace manager Alan Pardew‘s comments following an opening day loss to West Bromwich Albion, in which Pardew essentially confirmed that Bolasie is on his way out. “We know there is a big offer and a big club in for him,” Pardew told the BBC. “The deal is close and he will go with my best wishes. There’s no medical done or agreement 100% done. It’s fair to say we know his heart and soul may be elsewhere.”

Ronald Koeman has chased Bolasie for much of the summer, with a number of reported bids turned down before the two clubs settled on the current $28 million total agreed upon.

Bolasie joined Crystal Palace back in 2011, and spent two seasons in the Championship with the Eagles before earning promotion in 2013 via the playoff. He proceeded to help the club become an established Premier League side, making 90 top-flight appearances with Palace over the last three-plus seasons.

Everton has also been linked with Valencia defender Aymen Abdennour, who made just 11 league appearances in his first season with the La Liga club. This potential transfer would still be in the early stages, however, with just the Daily Mail reporting the link following the breakdown in talks for Sunderland defender Lamine Kone.

Reports out of Italy, namely from newspaper Tuttosport, have reported that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has alerted his former club Juventus to the availability of Cesc Fabregas.

The Italian giants are looking for a replacement to Pogba’s midfield role, and Conte apparently would sacrifice Fabregas to the cause. According to the report, Juventus had made attempts to capture Axel Witsel, but those talks have not gone well. They contacted Chelsea to discuss Nemanja Matic, but Conte has instead offered Fabregas.

The report indicates that Juventus also checked in on Blaise Matuidi, but PSG had no desire to sell.

Fabregas would represent far less of a defensive presence than any other targets mentioned in this report, and indeed less than the man they intend him to replace as well, but having struck out on a number of options, it might be the only way forward for Juventus at this point.

Valencia is rumored to be close to completing the sale of Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal. With the transfer reportedly nearing completion, the Valencia fans did something special in a last-ditch attempt to get him to stay.

Following Saturday’s final preseason friendly against Fiorentina, during the customary presentation of the players prior to the start of the regular season, the fans serenaded Mustafi in the hopes of convincing him not to leave. Mustafi was not in the lineup for the game and did not feature, fueling the transfer fire even more, but was on hand to experience the act of good will from the fans.

With the falling out between Stoke City and defender Marc Wilson following an ill-advised Twitter rampage, the 28-year-old is set to leave the Britannia, and reports indicate that Bournemouth is the most interested.

ESPN’s Pete O’Rourke has reported that the Cherries are “lining up a move” for Wilson, who played just one Premier League game last season for Stoke.

Wilson was clearly upset at both his lack of playing time and manager Mark Hughes‘ training methods, and aired that laundry out in public on social media during a Q&A with fans. Hughes responded by telling reporters at his pre-match press conference this weekend, “Marc probably feels his future lies elsewhere and it’s fair to say I probably agree with him.”

The ESPN report was corroborated by Sky Sports reporter Mark McAdam, who posted that the two clubs had agreed to a deal of $2.5 million. Wilson spent a portion of the 2006/07 season on loan at Bournemouth, while with parent club Portsmouth.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Defour to break Burnley record, Mustafi to Arsenal back on

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With Middlesbrough making big-name moves and even Championship clubs spending like crazy, Burnley is just looking to keep up.

The agent of Anderlecht midfielder Steven Defour says that the two clubs have agreed to bring the 28-year-old Belgian to the Premier League in a $9 million deal that would make Defour the Clarets’ record signing.

Defour has come close to joining the Premier League on multiple occasions in the past. Everton had a bid rejected by Standard Liege in 2011, Manchester United was reportedly interested around that time as well, and Fulham came close to a deal in 2014 but talks broke down with Porto and Defour moved to Anderlecht.

Burnley still has not yet confirmed the deal, but Anderlecht has, wishing him “good luck” on Twitter.

Arsenal has been linked to Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi for much of the summer, but things have been quiet at the Emirates and Gunners fans are starving for an addition to counter some early-season injuries. Now, according to Spanish media reports, things might be hitting high gear.

Plaza Deportiva reports that Valencia owner Peter Lim flew to London to complete the transfer. The report also states Mustafi has already agreed to a deal with Arsenal, and the fee is all that is required to green light a medical.

The deal will reportedly cost Arsenal $39 million, despite Mustafi’s release clause of $54 million. Fueling the fire, Mustafi was left out of Wednesday’s friendly with a Nigerian all-star team.

Stoke City defender Marc Wilson has suddenly fallen out of favor with manager Mark Hughes and looks ready to find himself a new club. The 28-year-old has been with the Potters since 2010, but a week ago went on an eye-raising Twitter tirade targeting Hughes’ training, tactics, and team selection.

During a Q&A with fans, Wilson tweeted things like, “it would actually help if we ever did any defensive training which we dont,” I think I deserve game time, only way to get fit but hey that’s down to the manager. Finished last season horrifically,” and “think we have gotten away from being a tight compact unit when we lose the ball.”

On Friday, when asked about the incident during the pre-match press conference leading up to Saturday’s Premier League opener at Middlesbrough, Hughes confirmed Wilson is likely to depart. “It’s fair to say that Marc feels his future lies elsewhere and it’s fair to say I probably agree with him,” said Hughes. “Sometimes players can be frustrated with a perceived lack of opportunity and that’s the case with Marc. He maybe expressed himself in the wrong way.”

Everton has seen a $11 million bid rejected for Lyon forward Rachid Ghezzal, according to a report by Goal.

The Toffees are leaving their business late, having just secured the purchase of Swansea defender Ashley Williams. Now, they’ve reportedly targeted the unsettled Algerian, who rejected a new contract with the Ligue 1 side, and Friday was sent to train with the reserves until his future is sorted, according to Lyon manager Bruno Genesio. West Ham have also reportedly submitted bids that were rejected, and Arsenal is apparently interested, but not willing to submit an offer until January.

Ghezzal is a Lyon academy product and scored eight goals and eight assists last year in 28 Ligue 1 appearances. The 24-year-old has just one year remaining on his current contract at Lyon.

Watch Live: Stoke City vs. Liverpool (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Brendan Rodgers has spoken at length about getting redemption at the Britannia Stadium for the way last season ended, and he’ll get a chance to do that as Liverpool visits Stoke City at 11 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

The Reds found themselves 6-1 losers there to end last season, a fitting way to end a year He’ll have to do so with four players on competitive debut and other important personnel missing as the Reds look to make a return to the Champions League after a big summer spending spree.

Christian Benteke, Nathaniel Clyne, and Joe Gomez all make their first starts for the club while big money signing Roberto Firmino is on the bench, but Joe Allen and Jon Flanagan miss out thanks to injury. The big absence from last season is Raheem Sterling, who made his way to Manchester City.


For Stoke City, Marko Arnautovic, Ryan Shawcross, and Marc Wilson are both missing thanks to injuries, but electric attacker Bojan is healthy and ready to start a new season for the Potters. Peter Crouch is on the bench for Stoke, while American international Geoff Cameron starts along the back line.

The Potters also have plenty of changes to their squad, as Glen Johnson starts after moving from Liverpool on a free, and former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay also gets his first start for the club.


Stoke City: Butland; Johnson, Cameron, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, Adam; Walters, van Ginkel, Afellay; Diouf.
Subs: Given, Ireland, Odemwingie, Joselu, Sidwell, Crouch, Wollscheid.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Milner, Lallana, Ibe, Coutinho, Benteke.
Subs: Bogdan, Toure, Firmino, Moreno, Can, Origi, Ings.

Premier League friendly roundup: Southampton draws, Stoke swallowed

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It was a rough day for Premier League teams as the English top flight season nears.

Stoke City suffered the biggest setback in a 3-0 loss to FC Porto and may have lost more than just the game. The Cologne friendly saw a pair of Porto goals from Vincent Aboubakar and Alberto Bueno, and Yacine Brahimi finished things off with a penalty to cement the 3-0 scoreline.

[ Arsenal wins Community Shield | Mourinho testy postgame ]

In addition to a third straight friendly loss, the Potters also saw Marc Wilson and Marko Arnautovic come off injured, the latter clutching his thigh as he hobbled off after just over a half-hour. The Austrian winger logged nearly 2,000 minutes last league season but was recovering from a similar injury earlier this preseason.

Southampton salvaged a 1-1 draw against Espanyol thanks to a late equalizer by Jay Rodriguez who continues to work back from a season lost to an ACL tear. It was the first senior team match for Rodriguez since March of 2014. The game also saw QPR loanee Steven Caulker make his Southampton debut along the Saints’ back line. Southampton has already had meaningful action prior to the Premier League season, having been matched up against Vitesse Arnham in Europa League play.

Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United, already deep into Europa League play, had a friendly today against German club Werder Bremen and fell 2-1. Bilic split his squad apart to deal with a European match in Romania to come on Thursday, but Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan both did not appear with rumors of their exit. Diafra Sakho opened the scoring for the Hammers in the 19th minute, but Werder Bremen struck back not a minute later through Anthony Ujah, who picked up a brace just before halftime.

Everton also played Villareal in a testimonial for longtime Toffees striker Duncan Ferguson, in which Wayne Rooney made an appearance in a blue shirt, an odd sight for sure.

Premier League roundup: Big day for relegation battlers

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Seven Premier League games took place on Saturday, as plenty of teams at the bottom secured big wins to shake up the relegation picture.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays

Leicester, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Sunderland all prevailed, while poor old Burnley and QPR went down fighting away from home but their days in the top-flight looked numbered.

[ RELATED: Standings | videos | schedule ]

In the top half there were only wins for Liverpool, Swansea and West Ham as Manchester United slipped up at home to West Brom to breath new life into the top four race.

Below are recaps, reaction, videos and more from another busy day around the PL.

Aston Villa 3-2 EvertonRECAP

A double from Christian Benteke put Villa 2-0 up at half time. Romelu Lukaku scored a PK to put Everton back in the game but Tom Cleverley made it 3-1 before a late consolation from Phil Jagielka set up a tense finish. Huge win for Villa who now sit on 35 points. Everton’s six-game unbeaten run is over.

Manchester United 0-1 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

Jonas Olsson turned out to be the hero for the Baggies, as Manchester United lost their third-straight PL  match. That’s something the Red Devils haven’t done since 2001 and their recent struggles have come at a pivotal stage of the season with the top four race now back on. Robin van Persie had a second half penalty kick saved by Boaz Myhill as West Brom won at Old Trafford for the second time in a row and are now seven points clear of the relegation zone with three games left.

Liverpool 2-1  QPRRECAP

Liverpool went ahead early on as Coutinho curled in a beauty but then QPR equalized with just over 15 minutes to go as Leroy Fer volleyed home. A crazy last 10 minutes then played out as first Steven Gerrard had a penalty kick, which Nedum Onuoha gave away, saved by Robert Green and then Onuoha was sent off for two yellows. In the 87th minute Gerrard rolled back the years and glanced home a header to make it 2-1.

Sunderland 2-1 SouthamptonRECAP

Two penalty kicks from Jordi Gomez sealed the win for the Black Cats as Dick Advocaat’s side boosted their survival chances. Sunderland still remain in the bottom three but are just one point off safety with three games to go. Saints’ lone goal came via Sadio Mane, who finished well after a defensive mix up, but Ronald Koeman’s men were lackluster and lost ground in the race for a top six finish.

Leicester City 3-0 Newcastle UnitedRECAP

The Foxes’ wonderful form continued as they raced into an early lead and never looked back. Leonardo Ulloa gave Leicester the lead after 38 seconds and Wes Morgan added another on 17 minutes. Newcastle were all over the place and Ulloa scored a penalty kick three minutes into the second half to put the game beyond doubt. The Magpies then had Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson sent off as they are now just two points above the drop zone with three games to go. Leicester have now won five of their last six and is one point above the bottom three.

West Ham United 1-0 BurnleyRECAP

It was a nightmare start for Burnley at Upton Park as Michael Duff was sent off and Mark Noble scored the resulting penalty kick to give the Hammers a lead after 25 minutes. The Clarets never fully recovered and despite the Hammers being wasteful, they secured their first win in five matches. Burnley is now eight points from safety with three games left. It’s time to start waving goodbye to the PL, Burnley fans.

Swansea City 2-0 Stoke CityRECAP

The Swansea scored twice late in the second half to grab all three points and keep their record-setting season going. Garry Monk’s boys took the lead through Jefferson Montero and Ki sealed the victory in the final minute. Stoke had Marc Wilson sent off late on for two yellows.