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Transfer gossip: Brahimi to Arsenal; Ndombele to Man Utd

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Arsenal’s summer transfer rumors revolved around defending, but the last few weeks have focused on attack options (outside of endless Kieran Tierney talk).

Last week, it was Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace.

Enter Yacine Brahimi.

[ MORE: Lampard, Chelsea take next step ]

The 29-year-old Porto man may be joining the Gunners on a free transfer, providing plenty of experience to Unai Emery‘s attack corps.

Capped 48 times by Algeria with 11 goals, Brahimi had been with Porto since 2014. The left winger has 54 goals and 43 assists in 215 appearances over that time.

There are a lot of questions here, but the price tag of free-99 makes them all pretty palatable.


TalkSport claims that the many reports of Tanguy Ndombele’s eventual move to Tottenham Hotspur may have jumped the gun.

Or maybe Manchester United has jumped the line.

Last week saw reports that the 22-year-old Lyon man’s fee may go up soon if Spurs can’t sort the price for the midfielder.

And perhaps United will pay the $82 million fee and give Ndombele whatever he wants.

It would be a huge blow to Spurs, if only to Mauricio Pochettino who has publicly complained about how other clubs get to dictate terms on transfers while he just plays a role in Daniel Levy’s structure (He’s also given plenty of respect and credit to Levy over the years).

The same report mentions a potential breakthrough for United when it comes to its attacking ranks, and that’s in the form of Wissam Ben Yedder.

The $44 million price tag is not insignificant for the 28-year-old Frenchman, who scored eight goals in Europa League and 18 goals with nine goals in La Liga play at Sevilla.

That was his best season since his final four seasons with Toulouse, where Ben Yedder scored 15, 16, 14, and 17 league goals at Ligue 1.


O Jogo is linking Newcastle United with Dutch striker Bas Dost, but we wonder how much of that is based on long-term interest versus reality. Dost, 30, was linked with the Magpies in the past but is now well past the age mentioned as their transfer age limits. But it’s a rumor, so it makes the wrap, along with Sevilla interest.

Sevilla confirms appointment of Julen Lopetegui as manager

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Sevilla confirmed the appointment of former Spain and Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui on Tuesday, marking the 52-year-old’s return to management for the first time since his disastrous Los Blancos spell that lasted just 10 league matches.

The Sevilla position is open after a sixth-placed finish in La Liga, failing to pip Getafe on head-to-head results after finishing level on points. Pablo Machin was dismissed in mid-March after suffering through a five-match league winless run and Europa League elimination, with Joaquin Caparros installed as caretaker manager through the end of the season.

Lopetegui’s managerial resume is quite the mixed bag. After earning his first job at then-second division Rayo Vallecano – the club where he spent most of his playing career – in 2003, Lopetegui was fired after just 10 matches in a season that ultimately ended in relegation to the Spanish third tier. He then rose through the Spanish youth team ranks, and by 2014 earned another top tier job with Porto where he reached the Champions League quarterfinals but failed to win any silverware in his two years in charge.

The Spaniard then found himself hired by the Spanish national team to replace the legendary Vicente del Bosque in 2016, and he proceeded to win 14 of his 20 games in charge and not losing once, confirming qualification to the 2018 World Cup as one of the favorites alongside Germany. Just days before the start of the tournament, Lopetegui was dismissed in infamous fashion after Real Madrid announced he would take over after the World Cup, a move which the Spanish national team setup felt as betrayal.

Without the opportunity to lead Spain at a major international tournament, Lopetegui completed the awkward transition to Los Blancos where things turned sour quickly amid a five-match winless run culminating in a 5-1 El Clasico defeat that proved his undoing.

The appointment at Sevilla seems like a make-or-break position for Lopetegui, given his managerial tenure appears less than convincing. Should he fail to challenge for a Champions League place or take them deep in the Europa League, it would be hard to imaging Lopetegui receiving interest for another job after yet another club failure.

Former Arsenal midfielder Reyes dies in car crash at 35

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MADRID (AP) Sevilla says former Spain midfielder Jose Antonio Reyes, who won five Europa League titles and was part of Arsenal’s unbeaten “Invincibles” squad, has been killed in a traffic accident at the age of 35.

Sevilla and second-division club Extremadura, where Reyes played last season, both confirmed the death on Saturday.

“We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace,” Sevilla said on Twitter.

Reyes also played for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid among other clubs in a professional career that spanned nearly 20 years, after making his debut for Sevilla as a 16-year-old.

He helped Arsenal go unbeaten through the 2003-04 season, scoring two crucial goals toward the end of the campaign to keep that record intact. He also won a Spanish league title with Real Madrid, and five Europa League crowns with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid. He also made 21 appearances for Spain.

His former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry said he was “devastated” by the news.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who like Reyes came up through the youth ranks at Sevilla and played alongside him for Spain and Madrid, also expressed his sadness.

“Broken. Shattered. I have no words,” Ramos wrote in Spanish on Twitter. “All the love to the family. We’ll always remember you, friend! RIP brother.”

Liverpool coming to homes of Yankees, Red Sox

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Liverpool’s trip to Madrid for the UEFA Champions League Final is a bit shorter than the one it will take in July, when the Reds visit the homes of the Red Sox and Yankees.

[ MORE: $89M Sane bid rejected ]

Jurgen Klopp‘s men are off to New York and Boston this summer for friendlies against Sporting Lisbon and Sevilla.

The Reds first head to owner John Henry’s other home, Fenway Park, to take on Sevilla on July 21. It’s Liverpool’s first trip to Boston in five years and a rematch from the 2017-18 Champions League, which saw 3-3 and 2-2 draws.

Three days later they’ll head to the Big Apple for a July 24 encounter with Sporting CP.

Will the Reds be the reigning champions of Europe or fired up after an amazing but trophy-free season?

Here’s where you can learn more about the matches in New York and Boston.

Sevilla: Caparros won’t stay as coach for next season

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MADRID (AP) Sevilla says Joaquin Caparros will not be the team’s coach next season.

The Spanish club says Caparros will stay linked to the team but in a different position that will be announced in the future.

The former sports director has coached Sevilla since replacing the fired Pablo Machin in March, leading the club to a sixth-place finish in the Spanish league and a spot in the Europa League.

Caparros was also in charge of Sevilla for the final stretch of last season after Italian coach Vincenzo Montella was fired.

The 63-year-old Caparros last month announced he was fighting chronic leukemia but could keep working normally at the club.

He coached Sevilla in 241 matches in total, more than any other coach.

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