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Kluivert junior leaves Ajax for Roma in $21m transfer

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ROME (AP) — Roma signed Justin Kluivert, the son of former Milan and Barcelona forward Patrick, from Ajax on Friday for a fee that could rise to 18.75 million euros ($21.8 million).

The 19-year-old Dutch international forward has agreed a five-year contract with Roma.

“I’m very happy. I’m at an incredible club,” Kluivert said. “I cannot wait to start. I believe that Roma is the ideal team for my growth, which will allow me to play at the highest levels.”

Kluivert junior made 56 appearances and scored 13 goals for Ajax. He has one cap for the Netherlands.

He joins Roma for an initial 17.25 million euros ($20.1 million) and performance-related clauses could see the price rise by 1.5 million euros.

Koeman on Lukaku: “His potential is higher than Everton”

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Everton manager Ronald Koeman is greasing the wheels for the eventual departure of star striker Romelu Lukaku.

The 7-goal striker was tipped to move on from Goodison Park in the summer, but decided to stick around and has flourished in the club’s strong start to the season.

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Speaking to a Belgian outlet this international break, Koeman compared Lukaku to longtime Dutch star Patrick Kluivert, admitted that Lukaku will have to leave the club to reach his potential. He even mentioned Barcelona, where Koeman played and was an assistant manager.

It’s a curious statement, one that may tick off a bunch of Everton supporters. They may also wonder whether Koeman convinced Lukaku to stay this year by promising he won’t stand in the way come June and winking at his former club in Barca.

From the BBC:

“His potential is greater and higher than Everton as a final destination,” Koeman told Belgian newspaper HLN. “If Romelu was to play at Everton until the end of his career I know he has left something behind.”

“I gave him confidence and he has himself recognised that it was good for his development to play another year at Everton. What after this season comes, no-one knows.”

Everton is right in the thick of competition for a place in Europe, and six points off the Top Four.

But the Toffees have yet to play most of their challenging fixtures (they’ve drawn at Man City and home to Spurs, and were waxed 5-0 by Chelsea this weekend).

December looks especially brutal, and Koeman might question his choice of words if Everton navigates the stretch well and still has a look at Europe.

Although you have to admit, Lukaku helping ease the burden within MSN sure would be a tasty proposition.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying: Patrick Kluivert leads Curacao to second round

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For many of the world’s most professional footballers — even some of the most brilliant ones — the end of their playing careers signals the end their fame and “work” in the game.

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For some, it means it’s time to earn their coaching badges and begin the next stage of their careers, managing at the highest level. For former Netherlands striker Patrick Kluivert — still the national team’s second-most prolific goalscorer of all-time and former national team assistant to Louis van Gaal — it means trying to qualify the tiny Caribbean island country of Curacao, the 159th-ranked team in the world according to current FIFA rankings, for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

This week, Kluivert’s Curacao side defeated Montserrat, 4-3 on aggregate, to advance to the second round of CONCACAF’s five-round World Cup qualification process. The home-and-away tie, with Curacao away in the second leg, was tied 3-3 with minutes to play when former Netherlands Under-21 international Charlton Vicento broke the deadlock in the 87th minute, five minutes after coming on as a substitute.

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Kluivert, who scored nearly 100 goals for Barcelona in his six-year stretch at the club, is the son of a Curacaoan mother.

In the second round, Curacao are set to play another home-and-away tie, this time against Cuba, on June 8 and 16.

Elsewhere in CONCACAF first round qualifying

Bahamas 0-8 Bermuda
British Virgin Islands 2-3 Dominica
Barbados 4-1 U.S. Virgin Islands
Saint Kitts and Nevis 12-4 Turks and Caicos Islands
Nicaragua 8-0 Anguilla
Belize (away-goals rule) 1-1 Cayman Islands