Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Toney to New York Red Bulls
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Transfer news: Red Bulls in for ex-Newcastle man; Latest on Hojbjerg

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Are the New York Red Bulls following their old playbook in search of a new star striker?

Peterborough Today says RBNY bid around $5 million plus add-ons to try to pry striker Ivan Toney from League One side Peterborough United.

The bid is less than half the asking price for Toney, according to the report, who has also been linked with Celtic.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Toney, 24, saw his way to Premier League side Newcastle United after scoring eight goals for League Two’s Northampton Town in 2014-15, but made just four appearances for the Magpies and made five loan stints before being sold to the Posh.

He’s scored 49 times in two seasons, drawing the interest of many in England and, obviously, abroad.

Bradley Wright-Phillips is RBNY’s leading scorer. Now at LAFC, BWP’s only double-digit goal seasons before coming to MLS were with League One sides Plymouth Argyle and Charlton Athletic.

The Posh think they can get a better deal for the English striker and they may be right, coronavirus market pending, but you can see why the move is appealing to an RBNY side without a proven center forward.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Tottenham Hotspur is a potential landing spot for Southampton wantaway Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who handed in his captain’s armband this week at the request of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Football.London says Saints have received three offers for Hojbjerg and that Spurs have offered Saints a player-plus-cash deal for the 24-year-old ex-Bayern Munich and Schalke man.

Hojbjerg reportedly enjoys Southampton but wants a move to a club participating in European competition.

He’s been linked with Spurs for some time, but who would they send back the other way if Saints were willing to listen to the idea?

Kyle Walker-Peters is currently on loan to the St. Mary’s outfit from Spurs, but it’s challenging to predict who might not be wanted by Jose Mourinho yet deemed impactful by Hasenhuttl.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham outlasts wasteful Southampton

Haller West Ham
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West Ham United allayed some of the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini by holding on for a 1-0 defeat of Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

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Sebastien Haller scored the lone goal and Michail Antonio had one pulled back by VAR, but Saints missed myriad promising chances to draw level.

West Ham moves 15th with 19 points, while Saints remain behind 17th place Aston Villa on goal difference.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]


Three things we learned

1. Haller ends drought: Sebastien Haller’s early season honeymoon at West Ham was the thing of dreams. The big money Eintracht Frankfurt signing scored five times in seven matches. His chemistry with Felipe Anderson and company was wonderful. Then came eight matches without a goal and just one start in three matches. Manuel Pellegrini played him in attack with and not instead of Michail Antonio, and the pair delivered a goal.

2. Saints fail reward their own production: Southampton, quite frankly, should’ve claimed at least one point. Yes, West Ham also misused chances to score when it was 1-0 in its favor, but Saints had extreme problems in finishing what should’ve been great team goals. Ings hit the bar, which, yeah it happens, but Stephens and Hojbjerg’s second half chances have this 2-1 on another day.

There were similarities to their last outing, a 2-1 loss at Newcastle.

3. Antonio and Haller an answer for Pellegrini? Manuel Pellegrini likely bought himself more time with the win, but it wasn’t as convincing as it could’ve been had Antonio not been denied by VAR or Haller’s header not been saved by McCarthy. The big men were a problematic duo for the Southampton defense, and Pellegrini may opt to combine them again in future days.

Man of the Match: Antonio was a handful as usual, winning a half-dozen aerials and completed just as many dribbles.


Declan Rice had a first minute goal ruled offside (and properly so).

Sebastien Haller hit a glorious bass to Michail Antonio in the 17th minute, but the striker’s poor touch caused a handball.

Two West Ham players appeared to be fouled in the box on the same play, but Martin Atkinson saw nothing and VAR stayed with him.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The Irons took the lead on a well-worked team goal, Antonio crossing to the back post for Pablo Fornals. He headed back for Haller, who kissed the ball off the far post.

Fornals looked to have his first Premier League goal in the bag one minute after the break, but was defied by Alex McCarthy.

Antonio had it 2-0 for a moment, but VAR spotted his handling of the ball early in the dribble that led to his would-be marker.

Danny Ings struck a ball off the cross bar and Long butchered the rebound as Saints bid for an equalizer.

McCarthy made an outstanding save on an off-balance Haller header in the 78th, while substitute Andriy Yarmolenko couldn’t keep his 79th minute effort under the bar.

Jack Stephens made the least of a terrific set-up in the 81st minute, though he would’ve had to do well to level the score.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was the next to miss a back post effort, wide of the frame.

Hasenhuttl takes ‘full responsibility’ for heavy defeat

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Southampton’s historic defeat at home against Leicester City has the team in serious danger of being relegated for yet another season.

From the start against Leicester, Southampton were not ready or prepared to play, and it showed as the Foxes demolished the Saints, 9-0. After the game, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl shielded his players from criticism and took the blame for the performance.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

“I take full responsibility for what happened today,” Hasenhüttl stated, via Southampton’s website. “Very, very bad performance, that’s it. What happens now is that we must immediately try and bring the heads back up. We are all down.

“One thing I must say is that the fans that stayed until the end, because it was not easy to watch this game for anybody associated with Southampton Football Club, I must say thank you to them, because they were fantastic.

Southampton had no answer for Leicester City’s waves of attacks, especially down Leicester City’s left wing, and they failed to regroup after allowing three goals in the first 20 minutes of the match.

“I can only put my head, as the captain, in front of the team, and say the only thing that matters now is what we do going forward,” midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg said after the game.

“We can never, ever let something happen like this happen again. I don’t want to talk – I can only apologise. It’s very embarrassing and it’s very difficult for the whole team, but we are the ones to blame. You need to blame us, we need to take it. The only thing I can say to the fans is I’m sorry.”

Hopefully for Southampton, this is the moment when the team can come together and work hard through the rest of the season to avoid relegation.

Southampton gets big win at sputtering Brighton

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  • Saints five points clear of drop zone with 33 points
  • Hojbjerg scores lone goal
  • Brighton remains on 33 points

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s goal was enough for Southampton to gain an invaluable three points and move five points clear of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium to Saturday.

Saints and Brighton both have 33 points, five points ahead of 18th place Cardiff City. Brighton has played one fewer match than Saints, while Burnley’s 33 points come with one more match played than Southampton.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Saints will be feeling much better thanks to the second half goal, and Hojbjerg was fantastic at both ends of the play. The Danish star started the play and finished it with a flick via Nathan Redmond‘s assist.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal reinforcement, Fulham striker, Saints exit

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The January transfer window is upon us, and while Chelsea has already made what could end up being the splash of the winter in signing Christian Pulisic, there are plenty more rumors to be had. January is often a time for bargain hunting, and while the Pulisic move bucks that trend, clubs that need immediate reinforcements will often look for players who want out of their current position immediately.

[ MORE: Hudson-Odoi leaving Chelsea | Emery denies Navas ]

So, that’s where we begin today’s roundup. Southampton is in massive trouble at the bottom of the Premier League table, sitting 18th and firmly in the relegation battle. Beyond rumors, new Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has come out and confirmed that a few key players could depart this January as teams pick apart the Southampton squad in preparation for their potential drop.

Hasenhuttl singled out players like Steven Davis and Manolo Gabbiadini as a pair who could pack their bags, with the Italian striker seemingly the more likely of the two to find greener pastures. Gabbiadini has not played a single minute under the German boss, scoring just one goal this season before Mark Hughes was fired. The 27-year-old came over from Napoli in the January 2017 transfer window and made an immediate impact, but has fallen completely off the table since as Southampton continues to struggle for Premier League safety.

In addition, while there are no solid rumors yet, freelance journalist Graham Ruthven speculates that another player who could be attractive to clubs could be midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg whose contract expires in the summer of 2021 and is considered a bright talent at just 23 years old. Still, giving clubs pause is his lack of discipline this season, having already sat one match for yellow card accumulation before finding himself riding the pine on a four-game suspension for a miserable challenge on Fernandinho in the dying minutes of a recent defeat to Manchester City.


While Saints looks to do its best to keep the talent at St. Mary’s, fellow relegation candidate Fulham is hoping to secure reinforcements as the Whites look to protect their massive summer investment. The club has enjoyed a small uptick in form under new manager Claudio Ranieri, but the defense still looks horrific, especially against the bigger and better clubs. While the back line is the most concerning aspect of the squad at the moment, Fulham has also struggled to convert solid chances into goals up front, with Aleksandar Mitrovic proving a hard worker but not always able to convert those chances. According to Sky Italy, Fulham is one of three clubs interested in Roma striker Gregoire Defrel, currently on loan at Sampdoria. The report says Watford and West Ham are also interested, but mentions that the Hammers could back off after signing Samir Nasri to a deal after a trial.

Defrel has scored six goals in 18 matches for Sampdoria so far this season, although four of those came on a pair of braces by the third game of the season, and has since grabbed just two in 891 Serie A minutes since. While Watford will be looking for players to assist them in their battle for a top-half place, Fulham may be not just more motivated but more desperate. The Thursday edition of Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport declares that Fulham is “in the lead” for the 27-year-old Frenchman.


While Fulham looks for attacking help, Arsenal is hoping to snag defensive reinforcements as the Gunners have had injuries and poor form plague their back line all season. Sitting in fifth in the table, if the Gunners are hopeful of making a run at Champions League play, they will need to fix their defensive issues with Rob Holding out long-term, Laurent Koscielny injury-prone at 33 years old, and Shkodran Mustafi barely back from a hamstring problem of his own. Only new signing Sokratis has made it through the festive period unscathed, and now manager Unai Emery will look to bring in help from the outside.

According to The Mirror, Arsenal is set for a battle with Torino for 27-year-old center-back Nicolas N’Koulou. The Cameroon international only joined Torino this summer, but his contract expires in the summer of 2020 leaving the Italian club with little options should they wish to turn their paltry $4 million investment into a large profit. N’Koulou has helped Torino to one of the most impressive defensive displays in Serie A this season, conceding just 19 goals in 19 matches, the fifth-best defensive record in the league behind the top three teams Juventus, Napoli, and Inter plus Fiorentina. Unfortunately for Torino, they have struggled mightily in front of net, supporting that defensive unit with just 24 goals, leaving them ninth in the table, just above Fiorentina who also has trouble scoring goals.

N’Koulou is as experienced as they come, with 72 caps for the Cameroon international team plus 19 Champions League appearances with Lyon and Marseille before his switch to the Italian top flight. The Mirror suggests that Torino “are keen to hold onto” N’Koulou, understandably given his importance to the club having played every single minute of the league season thus far, but his contract situation could force the club’s hand should they wish to earn a profit on his presence.


There is plenty of talk surrounding Toby Alderweireld this January, and understandably so. Spurs activated a clause in the Belgian’s contract that keeps him at the club an additional season, but also triggers the presence of a $31 million release clause that is activated during the early portion of the summer transfer window. Given Alderweireld’s market value of significantly higher than that, Spurs could be motivated to shop him this winter in the hopes of earning a higher return, avoiding losing him for such a small price this summer.

According to The Telegraph, French club Paris Saint-Germain could be interested in sweetening the pot for Alderweireld to ensure they are given priority in the race, reporting that the French side “could offer” fellow Belgian Thomas Meunier in return for Alderweireld. Meunier, a right-back, was one of Belgium’s more surprisingly impressive players at this summer’s World Cup and has parlayed that into 12 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG this season. It would be somewhat surprising that PSG would allow Meunier to leave given Dani Alves’ age and injury history, but his positional flexibility would be a good fit for Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, with the ability to move forward and play wing-back should he be deployed in support of a back-three.