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Spurs linked with sensational swoop for $89M Dybala

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Tottenham Hotspur may break its transfer record for a second time this summer, and not for long-rumored transfer target Giovanni Lo Celso.

No, Spurs are now being linked with a bid for $89 million Juventus wonder Paulo Dybala.

[ MORE: Klopp talks quiet window ]

The Argentine is said to be finding it arduous to impress new manager Maurizio Sarri, who is expected to give Cristiano Ronaldo a free role that would tax Dybala’s ability to do what he does best.

Tanguy Ndombele cost Spurs approximately $82 million earlier this summer.

Dybala scored 10 times for Juventus last season in 42 matches, a big step down from the 26 he notched the previous season. Ronaldo’s arrival certainly helped with that dip.

Between Palermo and Juve, Dybala has 73 goals and 37 assists in Serie A. He struck five times in nine Champions League matches last season and is a safe bet to produce in any competition.

He’d give Spurs tremendous attacking options and put a lot of pressure on Dele Alli following the latter’s disappointing 2018-19 season.

The North London outfit has long been expected to become an even bigger force in the Premier League once its stadium debts were paid. The addition of Dybala would be a stunner, and boost Spurs into firm contention for the Premier League whether Christian Eriksen sticks around or not.

And if Dybala arrives, perhaps leaving won’t carry much interest at all.

Palermo still waiting to see where it will play next season

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MILAN (AP) It’s not quite as easy as ABC for Italian soccer club Palermo.

With the regular season over and the promotion playoffs looming, Palermo is waiting to see if it will compete for a spot in Serie A, end up staying in Serie B, or even get relegated to Serie C.

[ MORE: Jovic to Real Madrid ]

The club, the oldest in Sicily, was relegated to Serie C by the Italian soccer federation for financial irregularities, but it has appealed that sanction. If the team is successful in court, Palermo could end up in the playoffs vying for a spot in the top division after finishing third in Serie B this season.

“As the players of Palermo Calcio we claim the right to be able to win on the field, while waiting at least for the ruling of the Federal Court of Appeal,” Palermo’s players said this week in a statement. “At that point we will accept the verdict whatever it is. But until then we will make our voice heard in every suitable and possible place because we have been robbed of our dignity. They have taken away from us the right to sweat for a goal.”

Palermo had hoped the playoffs, which start Friday, would be delayed until the appeals were decided, especially because the team’s place in the standings affects other clubs at both ends. But there is no date yet to decide Palermo’s fate.

With Palermo in third place, Foggia, Padova and Carpi would be automatically relegated as the bottom three, with Salernitana playing a survival playoff against Venezia. With Palermo last, eighth-place Perugia would play for a spot in Serie A.

The governing body of Serie B decided, however, that Foggia would be relegated regardless of Palermo’s placement, scrapping a possible playoff against Salernitana, while Perugia was still tapped to replace Palermo in the promotion playoffs.

But Foggia is also still hoping for a late reprieve. At the beginning of the season, Foggia was deducted 15 points for financial irregularities. That was reduced to six during the season and it hopes to have it further reduced by the Italian Olympic Committee on Friday.

Even a one-point reduction in the sentence would see Foggia move ahead of Salernitana in the standings.

The current chaos mirrors what happened at the beginning of the season.

In August, Serie B was reduced from 22 to 19 clubs following the bankruptcies of Avellino, Bari and Cesena.

Six clubs, including the four relegated at the end of previous season, all argued for a place in the second division. None of them were successful.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Galaxy land World Cup veteran Gonzalez for back line

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Off to a flying start and boasting one of the best strikers in the history of the game, the LA Galaxy are reinforcing their back end in style.

LA has allowed five goals in six matches, although its schedule has been rather forgiving.

[ MORE: Aubameyang, Arsenal on racism ]

Now Guillermo Barros Schelotto has added a force to his back line in the form of Costa Rican national team center back Giancarlo Gonzalez.

They almost worked together when Schelotto was hired by Palermo but could not get the appropriate paper work to land the gig full-time. From MLSSoccer.com:

“I was with [Schelotto and his staff, all now with LA] a couple of months, so that, of course, also had a play in my decision to come here,” Gonzalez said. “I know their work and I know they’re going to provide me a good environment to grow.”

Gonzalez left Columbus following an outstanding World Cup in 2014, and has spent time at Palermo and Bologna in Serie A. The 76-times capped Costa Rican has appeared in two World Cups in addition to making 12 league appearances this season.

Frosinone beats Palermo 2-0 to win promotion back to Serie A

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FROSINONE, Italy (AP) Frosinone beat Palermo 2-0 in a playoff to earn promotion back into Serie A on Saturday after a two-year absence.

Raffaele Maiello scored early in the first half and Camillo Ciano sealed it in added time by finishing off a counterattack.

Frosinone, which is south of Rome, advanced on 3-2 aggregate after Palermo won the first leg of the Serie B playoff final 2-1.

Frosinone joins Serie B champion Empoli and second-place Parma – which each earned direct promotion – in the top flight.

In its only previous season in Serie A, Frosinone finished 19th out of 20 clubs in 2016.

Frosinone opened its Benito Stirpe Stadium this season more than 40 years after construction began, including 30 years of inactivity.

Costly gelato: Palermo fined $12,000 for thrown cone

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ROME (AP) A cone of gelato thrown by a fan at the referee has resulted in a fine of 10,000 euros ($12,000) for Serie B team Palermo from the league’s disciplinary judge.

The incident occurred in the second half of Palermo’s 2-1 home loss to Foggia on Monday.

As the referee showed a red card to Palermo midfielder Igor Coronado, he was hit by the gelato cone on his right arm.

The referee, who was not injured, looked down at the gelato cone on the grass and Coronado then picked it up and tossed it off of the field.

Palermo was leading 1-0 at the time of the incident then conceded two late goals.

Palermo remained third in the standings, three points behind leaders Empoli and Frosinone.