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Report: USMNT’s Zimmerman has interest from Premier League, Europe

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American center back Walker Zimmerman is reportedly hedging on signing a new deal with LAFC, and is entertaining interest from some of the bigger leagues in Europe.

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MLSSoccer.com’s Sam Stejskal says that Zimmerman has at least one formal offer from Europe, and is eligible to sign a pre-contract as his contract is up after this season.

The 25-year-old has three USMNT caps and a goal, and has “interest from clubs in France’s Ligue 1, the German Bundesliga and the English Premier League and Championship.”

Zimmerman leads LAFC in interceptions, clearances, and blocks per game. Those are all Top Ten statistics in the league as well.

The top of the U.S. defender pool is full of players who were either raised in Europe or left for top leagues after starring at the MLS level. Tim Ream, Matt Miazga, Geoff Cameron, and DeAndre Yedlin are four prime examples.

Report: United to pay $127 million for Icardi

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Manchester United appear to be lining up some big transfers for January after their slow start to the current Premier League season.

At this point, what’s another $127 million on a player, right Ed Woodward?

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Jose Mourinho was angry after not adding at least one new center back over the summer, but a report in AS states that United are ready to pay the $127 million release clause for Inter Milan’s star striker and captain Mauro Icardi.

The Argentine striker, 25, has supreme pedigree and his clinical finishing for Inter has them back in the UEFA Champions League this season. He has scored

With Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford the strikers in his current squad, you’d say that United are pretty well stocked in that area.

Ahead of United’s trip to Watford on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com), Mourinho vehemently denied accusations from many media outlets that he is underusing Rashford and his undoubted talent.

The English youngster often starts out wide for United with Lukaku through the middle and Sanchez on the other wing or just off the central striker.

How would Icardi enhance United’s attack? He’s a natural poacher who scored 29 times in Serie A last season and it may sound simplistic, but having him feed off Lukaku could work very well.

Lukaku’s goal haul for United is impressive with three goals so far, but you have to say he could have had double that amount already. Lukaku’s runs and hold-up play has improved over the past few season, but isn’t the most clinical striker.

Icardi is right up there with the best finishers in Europe with 100 goals in 160 Serie A games for Inter.

It will be intriguing to see if United try and trigger this release clause in January and, more importantly, if Icardi indicates any willingness about heading to Old Trafford to play for Mourinho.

Plenty of rumors over the summer suggested that players lined up for moves to United didn’t want to play for Mourinho despite his history of success.

If United can sign Icardi, then you’d think they would close the 19-point gap to Man City from last season. They’d also create an unhealthy logjam among their forwards.

De Bruyne has $292M release clause (not that Man City is selling)

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Kevin De Bruyne isn’t going anywhere.

That’s not a surprise, given Manchester City’s resources and the player’s incredible form for club and country.

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But the Belgian star’s manager at City, Pep Guardiola, let slip the player’s monstrous release clause while heaping praise on De Bruyne.

From Goal.com:

“[Leeds United boss] Marcelo Bielsa told me he was his favorite player. He does everything.

“The other day, I met his parents and you often understand how the children are when you know the parents. He’s an incredible boy. The clause is €250m. I’m sorry, he’s not for sale.”

Goal also points out that Guardiola said he plans to coach again at Barcelona B before retiring. That’s not a typo, Barca’s B side will be in play for Guardiola (seemingly well into the future).

De Bruyne, 27, signed a six-year deal with City after spending the early part of his career with Genk, Chelsea, Werder Bremen, and Wolfsburg.

Report: FIFA considering limiting loan players to eight

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FIFA has a proposal on the table to limit clubs to a maximum of eight loans from their squad to other teams in a season.

Sport Bild has the story, detailing the plan, which is reportedly supported by the Bundesliga.

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According to the report: “The sole exception to the FIFA decision: Talents under the age of 21 who have been trained by their home club and have been under contract there for an extended period of time may continue to be loaned in unlimited numbers to further their development by collecting match practice elsewhere.”

This would waylay the current practice of bigger clubs like Chelsea, which has 40 players playing for other clubs including Americans Matt Miazga (Nantes) and Kyle Scott (Telstar).

Could this lead clubs to subvert academy rules and sign more players, younger? There are limits on scholars, sure, but clever teams are going to look for an edge.

And what would it mean to players from outside of Europe? Certainly Major League Soccer, Liga MX, and several name South American leagues would have its best young players a bit longer, but at what cost, if any, to national team development?

The rule would certainly strengthen teams deep into the market on account of Chelsea; Michy Batshuayi, Baba Rahman, Kenedy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Kurt Zouma, Kylian Hazard, Mario Pasalic, and Kenedy would have the loan number at 8 before Chelsea considered what to do with any of their other non-CFC Academy talents.

And while 40 is an absurd number, eight is average if pretty low.

Arsenal has 7, Bournemouth 6, Brighton 5, Burnley 8, Cardiff 4, Crystal Palace 6, Everton 14, Fulham 1, Huddersfield Town 5, Leicester 4, Liverpool 12, Man City 12, Manchester United 5, Newcastle 5, Southampton 12, Spurs 2, Watford 8, West Ham 7, Wolves 19.

Reports: Real boss Lopetegui meets with El Tri star Herrera

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Julen Lopetegui and Hector Herrera have a history, and that may lead Real Madrid to a coup on another Mexican national team star in the tradition of Hugo Sanchez and Javier Hernandez.

Herrera, 28, will be a free agent after the season and has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Roma, Inter Milan, and Fulham.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks ]

Yet reports say Real Madrid is in pole position thanks to the relationship between its manager and Porto’s center midfielder, and that the two met in Portugal during the international break (Herrera was one of several key players absent from Mexico and the USMNT for Tuesday’s match in Nashville).

Lopetegui managed Herrera at Porto, where the Mexican remains a fixture in the lineup for Sergio Conceicao. Herrera was signed from Pachuca in 2013, and Lopetegui managed the El Tri star for a year-and-a-half after taking over in 2014.

Herrera is capped 75 times by Mexico and is a complete force in the middle of the park, possibly the most effective club player from a CONCACAF side.

Herrera could help replace Luka Modric and/or Mateo Kovacic, should either player leave Real next summer. Modric was linked with Inter Milan in August, while Kovacic is on loan at Chelsea.