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Ten possible transfers to monitor this week

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It’s been an active-enough transfer window from a wide perspective. Manchester United, Chelsea, and fans of other contenders may still be waiting for their breakthrough, but there’s been a lot to see world wide.

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Erling Haaland has a new home, and his housewarming party has been spectacular. Javier Hernandez headed from Sevilla to Major League Soccer.

Takumi Minamino joined Liverpool from Salzburg, and Gedson Fernandes found a home at Tottenham.

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So what’s still (possibly) to come before the transfer window slams shut at 6 p.m. ET Friday?

Aaron Long from New York Red Bulls to West HamA loan-to-buy bid’s been rejected, but could David Moyes skip the trial period. USMNT center back Long wants to go the Premier League, and RBNY are not in the CONCACAF Champions League so there’s time to replace him.

Antonee Robinson from Wigan Athletic to AC Milan — Speaking of USMNT-related transfers, could-be left back of the future has become a fixture at the DW Stadium but reports of his replacing Ricardo Rodriguez at Milan are many.

Paco Alcacer from Borussia Dortmund to Newcastle — The Magpies need another striker with Joelinton struggling to find form, and the BVB man is open to leaving on account of Haaland’s arrival.

Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United — A difference of $12 million seems likely to be made up by Friday.

Moussa Dembele from Lyon to Chelsea — He’s thrived at Fulham in the Championship, Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, and Lyon in Ligue 1, so the Premier League may finally get to see a mature Dembele. He made two appearances for Fulham in 2013/14.

Mykola Matviyenko from Shakhtar Donetsk to Arsenal — Twenty-two years old with 26 caps for Ukraine, reports of a try-it-before-you-buy-it with the Gunners seem very friendly to Arsenal.

Boubakary Soumare from Lille to Chelsea or Manchester United — Sixty-six senior appearances for a Ligue 1 side at age 20 is an eye-popper, and Soumare’s ceiling as a defensive midfielder is high.

Edinson Cavani from Paris Saint-Gerrmain to Atletico Madrid or Chelsea — The reports have all said Atleti is the front-runner, but the longer is takes the more you wonder…

Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli to Manchester United — Not in January with Napoli a month away from Barcelona in the UCL, right? Right?

Gareth Bale,  Krzysztof Piatek, Willian Jose, Mario Gotze, Steven Bergwijn, Alcacer, pretty much forward to Spurs — Self-explanatory. Spurs are transfer rumor bait as much as anyone not called Manchester United thanks to the injury to Harry Kane and the clear need for refreshment.

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.

Ukraine’s league expands after conflict disruption

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) Ukraine’s soccer league is expanding back to 16 teams after years of turmoil sparked by the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the country’s east.

The Ukrainian Football Federation says the coming 2019-20 season will be the last with 12 teams before an expansion to 14 for 2020-21 and 16 the following year.

The Ukrainian Premier League had 16 teams in 2013-14 but lost two based in Crimea after Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014.

Just 12 teams have competed since 2016, with some top clubs folding due to economic problems and others – including champion Shakhtar Donetsk – forced to play in exile because their home cities are held by Russia-backed separatists.

None of UEFA’s other top-10 ranked leagues has fewer than 16 teams.

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

Ukraine wins U-20 World Cup behind Supriaha brace (video)

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Vladyslav Supriaha scored goals in each half as Ukraine overcame an early penalty to beat South Korea 3-1 and win the U-20 World Cup in Poland.

The Dynamo Kiev 19-year-old was kept off the scoreboard for most of the tournament, with Danylo Sikan scoring four times to pace the champions to the final. Ukraine beat the U.S. in the first match of the group stage.

Fellow Dynamo Kiev teen Heorhiy Tsitaishvili, 18, scored a magnificent solo goal to put the win on ice with two minutes to go in regulation.

It was South Korea who took the early lead on a VAR-given penalty following a foul on the very edge of the box.

But Supriaha turned and slotted a fine finish home before the break, then scored the below winner early in the second frame.

Amazingly, though, the play of the day was a save from Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin off a bullet header in the 70th minute. Lunin has already been capped three times by the senior team.

U-20 World Cup: Ukraine keeps chugging, Italy downs Mali

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Ukraine and Italy confirmed places in the 2019 U-20 World Cup semifinals with impressive victories over skillful Colombia and Mali sides on Friday.

Danylo Sikan scored the game’s only goal 11 minutes in as Ukraine topped Colombia 1-0 to remain unbeaten in the competition and become the first semifinalist of the tournament. The strike came on an ugly error in judgement by Colombia goalkeeper Kevin Mier who came way out of the box to play a long ball over the top, but with Colombia center-back Carlos Cuesta slow to react and Mier late to arrive, Sikan won the contest outside the box and poked the ball into the empty net.

Colombia looked for an equalizer but it never came, holding 63% possession and popping off 11 shots, but only one of those efforts found the target. With seven minutes remaining, Colombia fell down to 10 men as substitute Johan Carbonero was harshly sent off for a challenge on Dynamo Kiev youth product Denys Popov.

Italy, meanwhile, moved on as well thanks to a wild 4-2 victory over 10-man Mali on a brace from Andrea Pinamonti that twice gave Italy the lead, including the winner from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute. The European side went in front just 12 minutes in on an awful own-goal by Ibrahima Kone who kicked an Italy corner into the back of his own net right on the doorstep under very little pressure.

Mali fell down a man in the 21st minute when Ousmane Diakite, who plays in the Austrian second tier, went in studs up on Gianluca Scamacca with a nasty follow-through. That left Mali with a mountain to climb, but they would manage to stick right with the Italians through the final minutes. The first equalizer came via Seikou Keita before halftime on a wonderful back-heel delivery from Kone.

Pinamonti would give Italy its second lead in the 60th minute, latching onto a deflected shot and finishing from an absurdly tight angle almost standing on the end line. Now down 2-1 with a half-hour left, Mali would not quit, drawing level at 2-2 with 11 minutes to go when substitute Boubacar Traore roasted Davide Bettella which set up a two-on-two break, and Traore fed Mohamed Camara for the finish on the doorstep.

That’s when the wheels fell off for Mali and Italy took control. Just four minutes after Mali’s late equalizer, Pinamonti was felled by Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita and earned a penalty, dispatching it for the lead. Just a minute later, Davide Fratessi confirmed the victory with a bullet long-range header on a perfect looping cross from Raoul Bellanova to make it 4-2.

Koita had a chance to make it 4-3 deep in stoppage time, but his 94th minute penalty was saved by Alessandro Plizzari before he fired a chance wide on the ensuing corner with the last kick of the game.

The two European sides will meet in the first semifinal set for Tuesday in Lublin. The other semifinal will take place on Wednesday between the winners of quarterfinal matchups United States vs. Ecuador and South Korea vs. Senegal, both to be determined tomorrow.

U-20 World Cup roundup: Quarterfinalists set, ranked

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The United States’ stunning come back to topple favorites France at the U-20 World Cup in Poland was followed up by the battle for the eighth quarterfinalist slot.

It took penalty kicks, as Mali and Argentina staged a thriller of their own that sat 2-2 after 120 minutes.

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Aboudlaye Diaby had a wild day, scoring an equalizer in regulation before conceding an own goal in the first minute of extra time and then scoring in penalty kicks as Mali clinched a spot in the final eight.

Insanity.

So who is going to win this thing, especially with France now out of the mix?

8) Ecuador — By putting them here, we’re assuring that La Tricolor will upset the Americans in the next round.

7) South Korea — The only team left from its group, they face a match-up problem with quarterfinal opponent Senegal.

6) Colombia — The wild card of the quarterfinalists, it’s difficult to have a read on Los Cafeteros other than to say its win over the hosts on Day One is laudable.

5) Mali — It may look insane to have Mali so low, given how exciting their matches have been and their taking of France to the wire, but nine goals allowed in four matches isn’t promising much.

4) United States — It’s just as easy to argue they can win the tournament than it is to say the Baby Yanks will bow out against Ecuador.

3) Ukraine — Still relatively untested after waxing Panama, but has to sit above the Baby Yanks after beating them in the group stage.

2) Senegal — Unbeaten with a pair of clean sheets on their record, the Senegalese are in the better part of the bracket when it comes to seeking the title.

  1. Italy — Vintage, tactical Italy has allowed one goal through four matches while averaging a single goal per game. Next up is a Mali team who’s shown an ability to be easily opened up by nearly every attack on the schedule.