Rachid Ghezzal

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Newport County shocks Leicester City as five PL clubs exit

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A late Padraig Armond penalty helped Newport County to a surprising 2-1 win over Premier League mainstay Leicester City in FA Cup action on Sunday at Rodney Parade.

Jamille Matt also scored for the Exiles, who became the second League Two side to knock off a top-flight team on the day after Fulham was upended by Oldham Athletic.

It was one of several big upsets on Sunday, though we’ll get to those a bit further down the page.

Rachid Ghezzal scored for Leicester, who left Jamie Vardy, Harry Maguire, Wilfred Ndidi, and Kasper Schmeichel out of the 18, and only found their equalizer once Demarai Gray and James Maddison subbed into the game.

Matt scored in the 10th minute.

Leicester needed 72 minutes of play to level the score through Ghezzal, their first success in a match which held 70 percent for the Foxes and a 24-9 edge in shot attempts.

But the stalemate was only three minutes long, as Marc Albrighton handled a ball in the box, and up stepped Armond. Scenes, as they say.

More upsets

League One side Gillingham used home field to beat Cardiff City 1-0 on Saturday.

Huddersfield Town lost 1-0 at Championship side Bristol City.

Bullets dodged 

Newcastle United got a late penalty from Matt Ritchie to dodge Blackburn Rovers upset bid at St. James’ Park, and will face a replay at Ewood Park.

Jordan Ayew‘s late goal helped Crystal Palace avoid a stunning home loss to Grimsby Town.

Burnley got a lone goal in holding off Barnsley.

Southampton tossed away a 2-0 lead at Derby County but will still get the chance to advance through a replay.

A pair of early goals had Everton ticketed for an easy ride past Lincoln City, but the Imps had other ideas and were unlucky not to level the score late in a 2-1 Saturday loss.

Big boys have little problem

Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata scored as Manchester United beat Reading 2-0 while handing Tahith Chong a debut at Old Trafford.

Manchester City hung seven goals on Rotherham United on Sunday, with Ilkay Gundogan starring with four assists.

Spurs absolutely worked over Tranmere Rovers, scoring seven goals of their own in a Friday clean sheet.

Blackpool was pesky enough in front of a half-empty stadium, but Arsenal mostly cruised in a 3-0 win highlighted by a pair of Joe Willock goals.

Chelsea got a brace from Alvaro Morata in knocking off Nottingham Forest.

Liverpool plays Monday at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Other Premier League teams

Watford dodged a solid challenge from non-league Woking and its assistant coach, long time Premier League broadcaster Martin Tyler.

West Ham United scored in the second minute through Marko Arnautovic and added an Andy Carroll goal in stoppage time to hold off Birmingham City.

Brighton and Hove Albion beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bony to West Ham, Hart could stay at City

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All signs have pointed towards Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart – cast aside by new manager Pep Guardiola in dramatic fashion – departing the Etihad before the transfer window shut.

With Hart benched and a replacement deal all but complete, it makes too much sense. However, a report suggests that may not be the case.

According to BBC’s David Ornstein, things have happened so suddenly that Hart feels he might not have enough time to ponder the best move for himself and his family, and thus could likely stay at City to fight for his place.

The options are limited in the first place. Everton seems to be the only Premier League destination with any legs, but even they have just purchased Maarten Stekelenburg this summer, and while Hart would represent an upgrade, it’s still an unsettling position purchasing a player to replace one you’ve just purchased. Sevilla is also reportedly interested, but the Spanish club is seemingly second-guessing itself and the interest seems on and off at best.

Despite all this, reports over the past few days suggest that Hart’s mentality is to avoid a short-term out, which is what Sevilla would likely represent with interest in a loan only. It feels more likely that the 29-year-old will stay at City – at least until the winter – than make a kneejerk move to a new club in the next two weeks.

Much of this Hart business seems contingent on Manchester City signing Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, which likely won’t happen before the Catalans secure a replacement. It seems the club is adamant on having two goalkeepers, which they have done for the past two seasons, sharing the time between Bravo and young Marc-Andre ter Stegen. With ter Stegen staying put, they would like to bring in someone at least as competition, if not to continue sharing time.

A pair of players have seen their names crop up among rumors the most. First is 23-year-old PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who has just broken into the PSG first team this season for the first time. With Kevin Trapp remaining the starter and cast-away Salvatore Sirigu still not moved, it’s possible a move to Barcelona could be mouth-watering for Areola.

The other, seemingly more likely option is Ajax starter and Dutch international Jasper Cillessen. The 27-year-old has a wealth of experience, having started regularly for the Dutch giants the past three club seasons, and finding himself as the first-choice national team starter since late 2013 as well.

A Manchester City fringe player who seems more likely to leave is Wilfried Bony, who suddenly has a suitor thanks to a nasty injury elsewhere.

With new signing Andre Ayew out for months after tearing his quad, West Ham are yet again left without a star striker to feature alongside Andy Carroll. With little time to find a replacement, Bony seems like a solid fit on a short-term loan, considering the Ivorian is on the outside looking in at the Etihad.

Kelechi Iheanacho‘s new five-year contract suggests that Bony is stuck behind both the youngster and superstar Sergio Aguero, and his best bet for immediate playing time would be a move to the Olympic Stadium. It’s unlikely that West Ham would have the money set aside to complete a permanent move for Bony for anything less than a massively cut-priced deal given the sudden nature of their need, so a loan is likely preferable for the Hammers.

Everton is doing most of its business late in the window, and they may have swooped in on another club’s target.

According to reports in France, the Toffees have submitted a bid for Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal and may have seen it accepted. West Ham have been tracking the player for weeks, even reportedly submitting a pair of rejected bids, and now Everton may have taken advantage of the Hammers’ slow build.

Ghezzal, 24, has reportedly rejected a new contract at Lyon and therefore has been shopped around this summer. The winger has been left out of the Lyon squad to start the season, but that is due to an adductor tear that will keep him out a further 2-3 weeks.

The Everton bid for Ghezzal is reportedly $12.5 million, with West Ham’s rejected bids in the range of $8 million and $10 million. Their interest in the Algerian is surprising given their recent deal with Yannick Bolasie, although Bolasie is more proficient on the left side of the pitch, whereas Ghezzal is primarily a right winger.

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.