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transfer rumor roundup
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Transfer rumor roundup: Manchester sides eye Welsh CB; Willian in demand

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The transfer rumor mill continues to hum this holiday weekend.

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Don Balon says Willian is drawing interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain amid reports of a contract impasse with Chelsea.

The influential but aging winger had been said to be anxious to stay in the Premier League if he left Chelsea, preferring a life in London.

Willian has been far from combustible as his contract nears its conclusion, going as far as to insist he’ll play for free if it means concluding the Premier League season.

The Brazilian turns 32 in August but has still turned in influential performances this season. He has seven goals and six assists in over 2500 minutes. He has 59 goals and 59 assists in 329 appearances for the Blues.

He’s got tread on the tires, and will fetch a healthy salary given a lack of transfer fee. He may even allow PSG to cut ties with one of its big assets to bridge the Parisiens to another generation of winger.


Swansea City’s Joe Rodon is a $25 million target of several big name Premier League sides, according to Wales Online, including Manchester United and Manchester City.

Rodon, 22, has played 48 matches over two seasons with Swans after breaking into first team football on loan to Cheltenham Town in 2017/18. He’s been twice-capped by Wales.

His 5.4 clearances per game put him seventh in the Football League Championship. He’s also averaging one tackle and 1.6 interceptions per game.

Former teammate Daniel James made a surprise move to Manchester United last summer for just under $20 million.

Joe Allen to miss Euro 2020 with ruptured Achilles

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Wales international Joe Allen will miss Euro 2020 after rupturing his Achilles tendon in Stoke City’s 5-1 win over Hull City, the club confirmed on Saturday.

Allen went down on the stroke of halftime after a challenge from Dan Batty saw the Stoke midfielder stretchered off the field.

“It’s not good news unfortunately, it looks like Joe has ruptured his Achilles which would obviously rule him out for the rest of the season,” Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill said after the match. “I’m devastated with that because he’s been fantastic since I came to the Club. Not only in terms his importance to the team and his importance to the Club, but what he has to look forward to in the summer as well at EURO 2020 with Wales. It’s really disappointing news to hear.”

The 29-year-old midfielder debuted for the national team in 2009 and has been a mainstay in the Wales midfield since first earning a starting role in 2011, with 53 total caps for the national team. He played nearly every minute of Wales’ run to the Euro 2016 semifinals in what was the country’s first appearance at a European final tournament.

“He’s been terrific and is a terrific player,” O’Neill said. “He’s everything you want in a player, he takes responsibility and as a leader, without being particularly loud and vocal, he leads by example in terms of the way he plays the game. Things like that you don’t want to see happen to any player, but particularly a lad like Joe, so I’m a bit upset and disappointed, as well as gutted for the player.”

Allen has been an absolute workhorse for Stoke City since joining from Liverpool in 2016. The former Swansea City youth product has made at least 36 league appearances for the Potters in every season since joining the club, accumulating at least 2,900 league minutes in every season. He racked up a whopping 4,132 minutes last Championship campaign, which is just eight minutes shy of a perfect full season of 46 90-minute performances.

Report: Juventus ready to sell Aaron Ramsey after one season

Aaron Ramsey
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Could Aaron Ramsey be returning to England?

A report from Italy says Juventus is willing to sell the 29-year-old Welshman after an injury-riddle start to his time in Serie A.

Ramsey opted to sign with the Turin side on a free transfer, earning a rich deal from the serial Serie A champs.

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Any exit carries a word of caution for those hoping he might their club: Ramsey’s had a reported salary of around $162,000 per week. He’d have to agree to a new deal, as few will be willing to pay that wage.

As we’ve seen with Gareth Bale, a club wanting to sell a big-wage player and the player willing to take a pay cut can be mutually exclusive concepts.

Who would have the money to meet his expectations? Would Mikel Arteta‘s return to Arsenal and new leadership move the meter? Arsenal was speaking about a new deal for the Welshman before a seeming change in attitude. Only Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang make more than Ramsey’s reported wage. PSG? Manchester United?

Ramsey has two goals in 19 matches for Juve, none since an early November goal at Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League.

His lack of playing time is certainly a concern for Wales, who is preparing for EURO 2020. Ramsey has 16 goals and seven assists in 60 caps.

USMNT announces March match vs. Giggs’ Wales

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Gregg Berhalter is set to match wits with Ryan Giggs when the United States men’s national team visits Wales this Spring.

The Yanks will visit Wales at Cardiff City Stadium on March 30, four days after visiting the Netherlands.

Wales and the USMNT are tied at 22nd in the FIFA rankings, though Wales is 25th in Elo Ratings to the Yanks’ 39th.

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“One of the important parts of continuing to develop this group is the opportunity to play against high-level opponents away from home,” Berhalter said in a press release. “The Netherlands is a soccer powerhouse featuring some of the world’s best talent. This game will be a good chance to compete as we build toward important competitions in the summer and fall.”

The two sides have only met once before, with Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis scoring in a 2003 win.

Wales is preparing for EURO 2020, where it’s in Group A with Turkey, Switzerland, and Italy.

The next competition for the USMNT is this summer’s CONCACAF Nations League semifinal against Honduras. Mexico and Costa Rica are in the other semi.

USMNT likely to play at Wales on March 30

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CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. Soccer Federation is negotiating to have the men’s national team play an exhibition at Wales on March 30.

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The match would follow an exhibition against the Netherlands at Eindhoven on March 26.

Both games would be on FIFA dates, allowing the U.S. to select from its full player pool.

The Americans started training this week in Bradenton, Florida, with players mostly from Major League Soccer ahead of an exhibition against Costa Rica on Feb. 1 at Carson, California. Training had been scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar, but the USSF changed the venue after a U.S. military air strike last week killed a top Iranian military commander.