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Transfer rumor roundup: Dortmund wants Witsel; Mignolet to Barca?

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Pro Soccer Talk takes a look at some of the biggest transfer stories on a busy Tuesday.

[ MORE: Pulisic staying put at Dortmund for 2018 season ]


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.

Transfer rumor roundup: Schurrle to Fulham, Mignolet for $15m

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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.

[ MORE: PST speaks with Sane, Mahrez ]

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 ready to part ways with seven including Mignolet, Ings

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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.

[ MORE: Roma’s De Rossi with PST ]

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.

Transfer rumor roundup: Fred to Man City; Aubameyang wanted

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Could this January transfer window rival last season’s in terms of activity?

[ MORE: FA Cup replay roundup ]

Last season saw Crystal Palace save its season and Hull City nearly do the same, Morgan Schneiderlin head to Everton, Leicester find a decent N'Golo Kante replacement, and much, much more.

This season has been less active, though Ross Barkley has headed to Chelsea while former club Everton nabbed Cenk Tosun and Liverpool added Virgil Van Dijk.

The BBC has news involving Napoli which could affect two Premier League clubs. The Neapolitans apparently want Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who wants to be an every week starter, to be a prime part of their push to end Juventus’ Serie A stranglehold.

That would unseat Pepe Reina, who’s been long linked with a reunion with former boss Pepe Reina at Newcastle United. Napoli currently has Luigi Sepe as a No. 2 to Reina, though UEFA Europa League fixtures mean it’s no guarantee Mignolet’s arrival would allow Reina to leave town.

Sky Sports says Manchester City would like to see Fred as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho. Fred went 90 minutes for Shakhtar Donetsk in a pair of UEFA Champions League contests against City, including the 2-1 home win over the Premier League leaders’ B-squad on Dec. 6. The 24-year-old has two goals and two assists in league play, and could cost more than $25 million.

Don Balon proffers news that could unsettle Arsenal fans, as Real Madrid is apparently entering the bidding for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Florentino Perez would like an upgrade to Karim Benzema for his struggling La Liga super powers, and goodness knows Real will tempt Borussia Dortmund’s bank account.

One liners:

— The BBC also says Besiktas want Islam Slimani to join the club from Leicester City.

— Ola Kamara’s move from Columbus to another MLS team may be hijacked by La Liga.

Klopp keeping it in perspective after breakdown vs. Arsenal

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Jurgen Klopp was angry following Friday’s 3-3 draw at Arsenal, but put a productive spin on a disappointing day at the Emirates Stadium.

While there’s no doubting Klopp will have some strong words for his Reds after tossing aside a 2-0 lead with three goals conceded in 4:45 — “You need to be angry, not sad, not disappointed in that moment” — his mentality was on display in his post-match comments.

[ MORE: Recap | 3 things | Stars/duds ]

Somewhat like Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United, the Reds were the better team despite not picking up all three points. And Klopp stressed throughout all his comments, whether criticizing Simon Mignolet‘s blunder or Liverpool’s massive let-up, that his team consistently producing chances without opening up myriad chances for the opposition.

Whether you agree with him or not — and that’s a loaded question for the Kop —

“I thought we were clearly the better side. They couldn’t play how they wanted to play. Before they had their goal, we could’ve had 2, 3, 4. Life’s like that. It’s clear we gave them the opportunity, it’s no secret. We could’ve defended the cross much better on the first goal. Then a shot from distance, yeah, we can all agree Simon could make a save in this moment.

Yet you can’t just grimace and grouse about singular errors, saying something about soccer being crazy, when your defense gives up performances on more than one occasion (Granted, that’s not recent: this was the first time Liverpool allowed more than one goal in league play since its last loss, 4-1 at Spurs on Oct. 22).

“Defending is a team thing,” Klopp said. “Today we make individual mistakes and that is not cool.”

And that’s right. Liverpool has been less apt to give up big chances in its 10-match league unbeaten run, and this was the first match of the 10 to including multiple concessions.