The UEFA Champions League began its third qualifying round on Tuesday, with five sides taking advantage of the opportunity at hand.
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Club Brugge 1-0 Dynamo Kiev
Hans Vanaken’s 37th minute penalty was the difference as the Belgians will take an advantage to Ukraine.
New signing Simon Mignolet pitched the shutout after relegating American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath to the bench.
PAOK 2-2 Ajax
There were some North London Derby participants on show, as Chuba Akpom scored PAOK to make it 1-1 and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar bagged a 57th minute equalizer for Ajax after the Greek side went ahead.
Hakim Ziyech opened the scoring for Ajax, while Leo Matos scored PAOK’s other goal.
American prospect Sergino Dest was again an unused sub for the Dutch side.
Ziyech has been linked with a move to either Leicester City or Bayern Munich, and it’s easy to see why.
APOEL Nicosia 1-2 Qarabag
Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Ferencvaros
Red Star Belgrade 1-1 Copenhagen
Krasnodar v. Porto – 1 p.m. ET
Istanbul Basaksehir v. Olympiacos – 1:45 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Celtic – 2 p.m. ET
Basel v. LASK – 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. Rosenborg – 2:15 p.m. ET
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has left Liverpool on a permanent basis, completing a move to Belgian side Club Brugge, the club announced on Monday. He leaves for a reported fee of $7.8 million that could rise to $10 million with add-ons.
With the move, Mignolet ends a six-year tenure at Anfield that saw the Belgian international make just over 200 appearances for the Reds, including 155 in the Premier League, keeping 51 clean sheets. Mignolet spent last season backing up new arrival Alisson, appearing just twice, both times coming in domestic cup losses.
In fact, Mignolet had lost his place midway through the previous season with Loris Karius having taken over the starting spot between the sticks, a move that would have a disastrous ending in the Champions League final.
The 31-year-old came to Liverpool from Sunderland in 2013 for $12 million, where he had been for three years prior. He posted a classy goodbye to Liverpool and Reds fans on his social media account, calling it “an incredible honor to represent one of the biggest clubs in the world and to achieve things that few players ever manage to achieve.” He called the current crop of players he leaves behind “the best [squad] I’ve ever been a part of” and says of the Champions League victory earlier this summer, “I’ll never forget that night in Madrid, and I’m glad I got to share it with such a terrific group of lads.”
Mignolet moves back to his native country with the hopes of continuing his international career, where he’s earned 22 caps. The 31-year-old remains a part of the international setup, but has mostly served as a backup since late 2011 with Thibaut Courtois owning the brunt of the playing time over the past eight years.
Club Brugge finished second in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League last season, just two points behind rivals Genk. Mignolet represents a huge test for a goalkeeping crew at Club Brugge that includes the incumbent starter, 24-year-old U.S. international Ethan Horvath, as well as Coratian youth international Karlo Letica. Horvath started the final 18 league games for Club Brugge last season as well as the first two games of the current season.
Pro Soccer Talk takes a look at some of the biggest transfer stories on a busy Tuesday.
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After a strong World Cup for third-place finishers Belgium, Axel Witsel is drawing serious interest from one of Germany’s top sides.
Borussia Dortmund is believed to be looking to bring in the holding midfielder, who showed well in Russia as an anchor in front of the Belgian back line.
The Bundesliga side is currently in negotiations with Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, however, it’s unclear how advanced discussions are between the two organizations.
Barcelona could make an expected approach to Liverpool to secure a backup goalkeeper this summer.
With Alisson having landed at Anfield and Loris Karius also available for Jurgen Klopp, the Blaugrana are looking at Simon Mignolet as a second-string keeper behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Mignolet traveled to Russia this summer for the World Cup, and served as number two for Belgium behind Thibaut Courtois.
Paris Saint-Germain will have some good news as Adrian Rabiot appears set to sign a new contract at the Parc des Princes.
Rabiot has been linked with a move to Barcelona for much of the offseason, however, it seems as though new manager Thomas Tuchel will be able to keep the midfielder in Ligue 1.
Finally, Arsenal has handed young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe a new contract at the Emirates Stadium after an impressive showing at the International Champions Cup.
Smith Rowe scored for the Gunners against Atletico Madrid in fantastic style, making him a player to watch for the club in the future.
Fulham is bringing a familiar name back to London, according to reports.
Andre Schurrle turns 28 this season, and has traveled a bit since leaving Chelsea in 2015.
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Most recently, Schurrle scored eight times in 51 matches for Borussia Dortmund, and netted 12 times in a season and a half at Wolfsburg.
Sky Sports says Schurrle has left Dortmund’s American tour to undergo a medical at Fulham.
— West Ham may be selling Pedro Obiang with an eye toward a Premier League replacement.
Obiang, 26, has made 67 league appearances in three seasons with the Hammers, but is wanted by Serie A side Sampdoria.
If he skips town, West Ham would like to replace him with Mario Lemina.
The Southampton midfielder has disappointed since heading to St. Mary’s from Juventus. Lemina scored a goal and added an assist in 25 matches with Saints last season.
— Fulham took Besiktas’ goalkeeper, and now the Black Eagles are looking to the Premier League for a replacement.
The Cottagers signed Fabri, and Besiktas is ready to spend $15m to give Simon Mignolet a path away from Anfield.
Liverpool has spent a lot of money since January, and is looking to bring some back to Anfield.
The Reds have splashed major dough on Virgil Van Dijk, Naby Keita, Alisson, Fabinho, and Xherdan Shaqiri, the outlay surpassing what came in for Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho, and Danny Ward.
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Now, Goal.com reports, Liverpool is planning to part ways with seven senior players.
The list includes Divock Origi, Simon Mignolet, and Danny Ings, with Lazar Markovic and Pedro Chirivella also on the block.
The report says Jurgen Klopp would like to sign Marko Grujic to a new deal before a season-long loan to Cardiff City, but that would make a sixth departure. The seventh is Sheyi Ojo, who could be a sale or loan.
Getting rid of both Origi and Ings might seem risky at first glance, but the Reds have depth behind Roberto Firmino that goes further than Dominic Solanke and Daniel Sturridge. Youngsters Rhian Brewster and Ben Woodburn could have a chance to make a dent in Klopp’s First Team plans, though both are candidates for loans.