Transfer Rumor Roundup

Doucoure to Arsenal
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Transfer news: Doucoure to Arsenal, USMNT back to West Ham

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A pair of London clubs have been linked with players in England’s second and third tiers, one of them an American international.

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The proposed interest in the latter, Antonee Robinson, came even before his below comments on his hopes for a move out of League One and into playing time.


Doucoure to Arsenal

Linked with Everton in recent weeks, Abdoulaye Doucoure is now said to be a target of FA Cup finalist Arsenal.

The Gunners are said to be hoping to land the 27-year-old Frenchman after Watford’s relegation, hopeful that the price tag may have gone down since Everton reportedly had a $50 million bid shot down in January.

A solid, physical, and technical midfielder, Doucoure’s shown the capability of the sublime with magnificent goals against Fulham a season ago and Brighton in February.

Doucoure has played 141 times for Watford since arriving from Granada in 2016. He has 17 goals and 12 assists, and

Yet he’s also spoken of moving to a Champions League side, something Arsenal will not be next year. If the club wins the FA Cup, would he accept being a Europa League player next season?

Robinson to West Ham United

USMNT left back Antonee Robinson is plotting his next move after Wigan Athletic was relegated to League One in England via points deduction.

Robinson, 22, was due to move from Wigan to AC Milan for $8 million on transfer deadline day in January but he failed a medical at the Italian giants with an irregular heart rhythm that reportedly corrected itself over the break.

Earlier this week, the Wigan Athletic man told American Soccer Now that his mindset has changed since the failed move:

“I feel like I’ve done well enough where now, wherever I go next year, I want to start. In January the idea of going to Milan, it probably didn’t even come to my head that I probably would have been on the bench… now I am more prioritizing a team where I am going to start than a team, just because they’re a big name.”

So perhaps he’s rethought Milan, where he’d be behind Theo Hernandez. Robinson has been linked to Leicester City as well as Premier League side West Ham United.

USMNT center back Aaron Long was also once linked with West Ham, where Robinson would have to overcome longtime starter Aaron Cresswell, who’s been fairly average the past few seasons.

If Ben Chilwell leaves Leicester, Robinson would rival 19-year-old Luke Thomas to start the season as Christian Fuchs is out for another 10-12 weeks.

Transfer news: Gimenez to Man City, Joelson to Arsenal

Gimenez to Man City
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Is Manchester City ready to break its own transfer record, and the defender mark to boot?

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

City’s being linked with a big buy of a key piece at Atletico Madrid, while Arsenal is said to be ready to spend a massive amount of money for the latest “next Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Gimenez to Man City

Pep Guardiola prepared Man City for its long-term future with a big buy from Atletico Madrid last summer and may do the same this go-round.

Jose Gimenez could give Guardiola a 25-year-old partner for Aymeric Laporte at the heart of City’s defense and Guardiola seems ready to break the Rodri record as well as the international record for a defender.

The asking price for Gimenez is about $137 million.

Rodri was a club record buy for City in 2019 and has been a wonderful addition for City, and he could be joined by one of Atleti’s best in Gimenez.

The Uruguayan had an injury-hit 2019-20 season and has never played more than 27 La Liga outings in a given season since arriving but has 189 first team appearance since moving from Danubio in 2013.

He hasn’t been on top of his game this season but it’s a tumultuous roster for Atleti, who lost veteran backs Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, and Juanfran in addition to defensive midfielder Rodri.

Joelson to Arsenal

Joelson to Arsenal
(Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

This one’s right out of the long-term Arsenal playbook, albeit a pricy page.

Arsenal is being tabbed to trigger a nearly $52 million release clause to pry Portuguese phenom Joelson out of Sporting Lisbon, according to A Bola.

Like many hot young talents in his home country, Joelson Fernandes has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo.

They share a few things: Roots at Sporting, Portugal youth experience, and a relative lack of first team football before major hype landed at their feet.

A young 17 with a February birthday, Joelson is a left winger and has made just three substitute appearances for the first team. Joelson has five goals and two assists with Sporting’s U-23s this season.

The money is a lot for a teenager, but Barcelona and Juventus are also tracking Joelson and Arsenal is the club said to be willing to pony up the money for his release clause.

Transfer news: Kim to Tottenham, Tagliafico to Man City

Kim to Tottenham
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Two of the Premier League’s top sides may be adding players from the Chinese Super League and the Netherlands’ Eredivisie.

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Beijing Goan and Ajax are the clubs with the transfer targets from AFC and CONMEBOL internationals.

Let’s dig into the back line options for Spurs and Man City.

Kim to Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur is being linked with the “best Asian defender in history,” a player nicknamed “Monster” in the Chinese Super League.

Min-jae Kim may be just 23 but he’s extremely well-regarded and Spurs will have inside info given that Heung-min Son’s seen plenty of him from his post in the South Korea national team set-up.

Kim plays at Beijing Goan and the price tag is rumored to be less than $20 million by football.london, which notes his contract expiry of December 2021.

He joined the CSL side from South Korean mainstays Jeonbuk Motors in January 2019 and has not missed a beat. It could take some time to adjust to the Premier League level, but Spurs have plenty of players to man the center back spot while he learns. Eric Dier, Japhet Tanganga, Toby Alderweireld, and Davinson Sanchez are set to remain in North London.

Tagliafico to Man City

Pep Guardiola’s ready to spend big on another fullback.

Left back Nicolas Tagliafico will be leaving Ajax this summer and Chelsea had been linked with the Argentine.

But a report in Argentina claims that Man City is interested in soon-to-be 28-year-old who’s been capped 25 times by his national team.

Tagliafico has 12 goals and 15 assists in 99 appearances for Ajax and has played a little center back and left mid.

Some of Pep’s fullback buys have been good, as Kyle Walker’s performed well enough for City. But Joao Cancelo has not adapted well to the PL this season after a swap for Danilo from Juventus, and Benjamin Mendy’s been hit or miss when healthy.

Tagliafico is expected to cost upwards of $25 million, a far cry from the money Guardiola’s spent on some of the aforementioned names.

Transfer news: Saint-Maximin in demand, Norwich back to German giants

Saint-Maximin to PSG
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The Sunday morning papers are helping the transfer rumor mill buzz after a weekend of matches in Europe.

[ MORE: Pulisic reacts to Hazard comparisons ]

Newcastle is mentioned as a home for several players but the biggest Magpies name is one linked with a departure to big, big clubs.

Saint-Maximin to PSG, PL big boys

Newcastle supporters, avert your eyes and trust Steve Bruce (What a sentence and maybe a mantra).

Magpies talisman Allan Saint-Maximin has caught the eye of everyone on Tyneside and most of the Premier League but is being linked with a big money move back home.

Steve Bruce is flat-out denying there’s any chance of selling the Frenchman, 23, who is being linked with Paris Saint-Germain and “all of England’s current top six sides.”

“ASM” has four goals and seven assists in 25 appearances entering Sunday morning’s match versus West Ham and is one of just three players to average more than four dribbles per game, his 4.7 sandwiched between Adama Traore (5) and Wilfried Zaha (4.5).

It’s not just about the numbers with Saint-Maximin, though, whose magnetic dribbling and personality keep both a defense off-balance and a team hopeful and happy. Newcastle is 1W-3D-7L in the Premier League when Saint-Maximin plays, 10-6-5 when he’s out there.

Any sale, especially with Newcastle’s takeover looming, would have to be well over the approximately $20 million paid by the Magpies last summer.

Schick to Newcastle (amongst others)

The same report lays out a more realistic shopping list for the Magpies than many of the rumors since reports emerged of a big money takeover at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle is being linked with Roma’s Patrik Schick, Nice’s Arnaud Lusamba, Benfica’s Florentino Luis, Penarol’s Facundo Pellistri, and Norwich City’s Ben Godfrey.

Let’s focus on Schick and Lusamba.

Patrick Schick Leipzig Bundesliga
DORTMUND, GERMANY – DECEMBER 17: Patrik Schick (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Schick was once among the most sought-after names in the game. The 24-year-old Czech striker has nine goals in 22 caps for his country.

Three seasons removed from his breakout season at Sampdoria, Schick has profound his footing on loan to RB Leipzig from Roma. The center forward has 10 goals in 22 matches despite Timo Werner carrying the water in fine fashion for Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig.

Like Saint-Maximin last season, Lusamba has been in- and out-of-favor with Nice boss Patrick Vieira. But it’s worth noting that the manager has tried to find a place on the pitch for the 23-year-old center midfielder, deploying him at center forward and right mid at times.

Lusamba averaged 1.2 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Godfrey to Borussia Dortmund

Speaking of Godfrey, could he be going from the bottom of the Premier League table to the upper reaches of Germany? For close to $30 million, to boot?

Two of the Bundesliga’s top clubs continue to monitor top young Premier League talent including the aforementioned Godfrey, with Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig eyeing the 22-year-old.

A center back in Norwich’s maligned and injury-battered defense, England youth international Godfrey has played the seventh-most minutes for Daniel Farke’s Canaries.

Relegation victims have often yielded incredible value for bigger clubs, two great cases in point being ex-Hull City man Andrew Robertson and former Aston Villa force Idrissa Gana Gueye. We don’t need to tell you where they wound up.

Transfer news: Grealish to Man City, Balogun to leave Arsenal

Grealish to Manchester City
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The transfer rumor mill hums along Tuesday with a gossip mainstay dominating the terms.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Also in the news is an Arsenal teen who has represented both the United States and England at youth international levels.

It’s all going down in the wizarding world of the transfer buzz.

Grealish to Manchester United

Jack Grealish’s agent is busy or there’s news on the horizon.

Or maybe he’s busy buying real estate and people are drawing conclusions.

The 24-year-old Aston Villa star is being linked with moves to both sides of Manchester.

The Express says that Grealish has already found a new place to live and is “edging close” to a move to Old Trafford, though certainly any weird house talk could connect him to any club in Manchester.

Grealish could give United an incredible attack, a clear upgrade from young Daniel James. United has also been said to be chasing Jadon Sancho.

Can you imagine a United attack that incorporates Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, and Jack Grealish (let alone young Mason Greenwood and James)? No? Then something will have to give.

Grealish to Manchester City

Pep Guardiola is looking to Grealish to replace Leroy Sane should City sell the wantaway German this summer, says TalkSport.

The biggest question would be whether Grealish, who has plenty of suitors, would choose to spend his prime with a club who could miss up to two years of European football.

There’s a comparison to be made to what Guardiola did with Riyad Mahrez, who was the man at Leicester City albeit with better accolades. Perhaps even with Raheem Sterling, too.

There were certainly be some adjustment to not “being the man,” but Guardiola has plenty of experience with that.

WhoScored.com

Balogun leaving Arsenal

There’s been a lot of talk at Arsenal about Bukayo Saka’s future as the winger-turned-left back nears the final year of his contract.

But there’s another talented Gunners teenager with a year left on his deal, one with American connections.

New York-born Folarin Balogun, 18, has represented England and the United States at youth levels, the U.S. at U-18 and England at U-17, U-18, and U-19.

Balogun has 10 goals and four assists in 15 Premier League 2 matches this season. He made the bench for a League Cup blowout of Nottingham Forest but did not make his senior debut.

Arsenal is said to be talking with Balogun about a new deal but some reports say he’ll be leaving the club this summer. If so, he’ll have plenty of suitors. The Gunners have a lot of good young attacking talent but, as we’ve seen with Jadon Sancho at Man City and now Borussia Dortmund, choosing who to let walk is a tightrope walk.