Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich ‘a done deal’ in record MLS transfer

The record-breaking transfer that will take Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich is “a done deal” according to multiple sources. The deal for the 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps star will be the most expensive in MLS history.

Bayern will pay £11.5m for the Canadian winger, which could rise to £18m according to TSN’s Kristian Jack, but he adds that Davies will remain a Whitecaps player until the end of the 2018 MLS season. That would see Davies join up with his new teammates in Germany on January 1st 2019.

The transfer will make Davies Major League Soccer’s most expensive export. Jozy Altidore’s £6m move to Villarreal in 2008 has stood as the record transfer for ten years. The deal taking Alphonso Davies to Bayern is also worth more than the record sum of £11m Atlanta United paid for Ezequiel Barco ahead of this season.

Davies has taken MLS by storm since making his debut in July 2016, when he became the second-youngest player to play in the league at the age of 15, only behind Freddy Adu. He has gone on to make 54 MLS appearances for the Whitecaps, scoring three and assisting nine.

All three of those goals and eight of the nine assists have come this season, with the pacey winger looking sharper than ever. It’s no surprise Europe’s top clubs have been tracking his progress given how quickly he has developed in such a short space of time.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool were reportedly interested in signing him last season but didn’t make a formal offer due to work permit concerns. But Bayern have now swooped as they look to make an investment in the North American market. Reports also suggest they are hoping to add USMNT star Christian Pulisic from Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Davies, who turns 18 in November, is expected to return to Vancouver Whitecaps training after the deal is completed. He missed the weekend loss to Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders, following permission from head coach Carl Robinson. He is averaging a goal or assist every 137 minutes this season so Vancouver will need his services while they still have them for the remainder of the season.

The Canadian winger was also named to the 2018 MLS All-Star team to face Juventus on August 1st, so he will still be expected to be available for the game.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Everton 

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Saturday, October 24 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 4/9 – Draw 15/4 – Everton 11/2

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates on Saturday evening fresh from beating German giants Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Many are wondering if this could finally be the year Arsenal grab themselves the title that has evaded them since 2004. And many believe they stand a serious chance.

The Gunners are on a high after winning their last three on the bounce and will be confident of making it four with a win on Saturday.

Arsenal’s record in the Premier League: P9 – W6 – D1 – L2

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Everton are suffering from a bit of a stutter at the moment, having only managed one win in their last four.

Given the current quality of the squad and the added luxury of having no European football as a distraction, there is no reason why the Toffees can’t challenge for a European spot this term.

However, with key starters Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley on the sidelines, perhaps the injuries are hindering Everton at the moment. That was certainly evident in last week’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United.

Everton’s record in the Premier League: P9 – W3 – D4 – L2

Arsenal won the most recent meeting between these two back in March in a 2-0 victory at the Emirates. That was the Gunners’ only league win against Everton in their last six clashes.

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Team News

Arsenal will be without Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky for the visit of Everton as all of them are out through injury.

Everton are still missing Leighton Baines, Tony Hibbert, Steven Pienaar and Tom Cleverley through injury, although they are all nearing a return. Muhamed Besic is doubtful but could feature at some point.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: W/L/W/W/W

Everton’s last five: W/D/W/D/L

Key Stat: Arsenal are undefeated in their last 18 home matches against Everton in all competitions, with the Toffees’ last win at Arsenal coming in January 1996.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – It would seem unjust to highlight anyone else as Sanchez is the key man in this Arsenal side. He is world class in the final third so expect some more magic.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-0 Everton – Arsenal were sensational in midweek, downing Bayern Munich in the Champions League, while Everton were slack in their 3-0 loss at home to Manchester United last weekend. This should be an easy home win.

Feature: Chelsea dominating transfer headlines but are they panic buying?

Chelsea‘s below-par start to the new Premier League season has resulted in transfer news and rumours flying around about a number of players.

The Blues have today signed FC Barcelona’s Pedro Rodriguez after Jose Mourinho swooped in and stole an almost done-deal from rivals Manchester United.

The 28-year-old winger made it clear he wanted to leave the Catalan giants this summer after a lack of playing time and although terms had initially been agreed between United and Barca, it is Chelsea who have landed the experienced Spanish winger.

With Eden Hazard, Willian and Juan Cuadrado all having featured already this campaign, you have to ask whether there is room for Pedro and whether one of these three will be on their way out of the club in the next two weeks.

Foot Mercato have reported that Willian has been offered to either Paris Saint Germain or Bayern Munich, which would be a surprise given he appears to be one of the first names on the team-sheet for Mourinho.

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The John Stones saga also continues. Chelsea have reportedly had a third bid of £30 million rejected for the 21-year-old Everton defender, with a fee of nearer £40 million rumoured to be required.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will make a final offer to tempt the Englishman away from the Toffees but Mourinho wants the player and he will do what he can to get his own way with a short time left to go in the transfer window.

With John Terry’s position in the side uncertain ahead of the weekend clash with West Brom this will be a story with more to come. Whether or not Chelsea need the youngster is another question, with Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and Branislav Ivanovic all options for Mourinho at centre-back.

Ivanovic could find himself out of the squad for this weekend’s upcoming game, with new signing Baba Rahman tipped to start at left-back, pushing Cesar Azpilicueta back to his more natural right-back slot.

The odds have been slashed for Paul Pogba to join Chelsea before the window closes. This could be a clever manoeuvre from the bookies, given Chelsea’s late movements in the window leading people to believe they are willing to pay big money for players that will help them defend their Premier League title.

Juventus are reportedly holding out for at least £70 million for their highly sought after talent and having already lost many star players this summer, a move away for Pogba looks unlikely.

With a whole host of attacking midfield options at Chelsea already, Pogba would no doubt have to dislodge another player from a starting position. With Oscar occupying the number ten role he could more than likely be the player axed if Pogba was to join, with Juve linked with the Brazilian throughout the window.

Talk of Cuadrado going to Juventus is also ongoing but the rumours are that he would be going on loan to the Old Lady and would not be included as part of a potential Pogba deal.

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It is going to be a very interesting and busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea if we are to believe the rumours and Mourinho’s side could be the ones to watch very closely as they look to make up for their worst start to a season since 1998 with some late transfer excitement.

German legend urges £25m United target to focus on future MLS switch instead

German football icon Franz Beckenbauer has told Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger to ignore interest from Manchester United as a move to Major League Soccer in the near future would be better suited.

Schweinsteiger is being strongly linked with a move away from Bayern this summer as he has just one year left on his contract and doesn’t appear to be close to penning a new deal.

Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal is believed to be keen to sign the German midfield powerhouse, who is rated at £24.6 million by transfermarkt.co.uk, with Chelsea also linked.

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But Beckenbauer believes a move to the Premier League at this stage of Schweinsteiger’s career would only be detrimental to the 30-year-old World Cup winner.

“Adapting to a different European league is difficult at his age,” Beckenbauer told German outlet Bild.

“He has played with great force and put a lot of pressure on his body for many years. That saps energy. He could end his career in the USA instead.

“If I was in his place, I would stay one or two years more at Bayern. Until then, he can still perform at the highest level.”

It’s not the first time Schweinsteiger’s name has been linked with a move to MLS as only as recently as April, the New York Red Bulls were being tipped as a possible destination.

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While in February, the player himself told the LA Times that he likes the idea of a move to the United States.

“We will see what happens in the future. But to be honest, I like the States.

“The quality is going to be better and better and [so] I could see that,” he said when asked about an MLS move.

Should Bastian Schweinsteiger ignore Manchester United interest this summer? Should he move to MLS when his Bayern Munich contract expires?

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: Liverpool star to Chelsea, Manchester United close in on striker

Daily transfer roundup (Monday, June 15)

MLS Rumours

New York City FC could be on the verge of signing two Spanish full-backs in the next few weeks as Athletic Bilbao’s Iraola and Manchester City’s Angelino are both expected to sign. (REPORT)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks unlikely to join any MLS side. The goal-machine previously said he would be interested in a move to America but now wants a move back to AC Milan. (REPORT)

Ronaldinho is set to meet with Turkish Lig’s Antalyaspor, distancing him from an MLS move. The former Ballon d’Or winner had been linked with LA Galaxy. (REPORT)

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Premier League Rumours

Chelsea are interested in signing Liverpool starlet, Raheem Sterling, but are not willing to stump up the £50m asking price for the 20-year-old winger. (REPORT)

Manchester United are closing in on Mario Mandzukic. Louis Van Gaal has previously coached the forward during his time at Bayern Munich and is keen on linking up with him again. (REPORT)

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Jackson Martinez is set to decide his future in the coming days. The Columbian has been linked with a move to Arsenal but reports have suggested he has already signed for AC Milan. (REPORT)

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: United in for Bayern star, Liverpool boost & French forward to MLS

Daily transfer roundup (Thursday, June 11)

MLS Rumours

Montreal Impact are keen on signing Frenchman Andre-Pierre Gignac. The forward has been with Marseille since 2010. (REPORT)

Premier League Rumours 

Manchester United are on alert as Bayern Munich‘s Bastian Schweinsteiger is in no rush to sign a new contract. The midfielder still has one year to run on his current deal. (REPORT)
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Radamel Falcao could be set to snub Chelsea for a move to Liverpool. The Colombian forward is keen to stay in the Premier League(REPORT)
Arsenal have been told they must pay £24.6 million for Geoffrey Kondogbia. The Monaco forward has attracted interest from a number of clubs after impressive performances in the Champions League. (REPORT)

Done Deals 

LA Galaxy captain, Robbie Keane, has agreed to sign an extension to his current contract. The details of the deal have not yet been released. (REPORT)

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Chelsea and Bayern to battle for Atletico Madrid superstar – report

Chelsea have reportedly joined Bayern Munich in the race for Antoine Griezmann but Atletico Madrid don’t intend to sell their prized asset, reports Spanish media outlet AS.

The Frenchman joined Atletico last summer from Real Sociedad for £24 million, signing a huge six year contract, and has been a revelation after netting 22 times in 37 league games.

Bayern were reported to have sent scouts to watch Griezmann in the Champions League last 16 game at Bayer Leverkusen, and have been impressed with what they see. The German giants are reportedly willing to match his huge €65 million release clause as they will eventually look to replace wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Chelsea also have the financial firepower to complete a deal but would need to sell a couple of players first to keep within the Financial Fair Play regulations.

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Atletico coach Diego Simone sees Griezmann as part of a new wave of talent they can’t afford to lose, including teammates Koke, Diego Godin and goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Chelsea have also been linked with Koke and Godin.

Griezmann is said to be happy in the Spanish capital after spending the last decade in Spain, though he could double his salary with a move to the Premier League or the Bundesliga.

If Chelsea or Bayern meet the release clause, Atletico are powerless to stop a deal from being completed. With the European Championships in France next season, Griezmann is likely to be part of his country’s attack so delivering strong performances on a weekly basis as he has this year is a must for the player.

Jose Mourinho is thought to be optimistic a deal can be struck, having negotiated deals with Atletico last summer over the signings of Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, who both joined Chelsea.

Could Antoine Griezmann leave Atletico Madrid this summer? Would a move to Chelsea make sense?

Manchester City receive ‘promise’ from Pep Guardiola – report

Manchester City have received a promise from Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola that he will take over at the Etihad in the summer of 2016, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Guardiola has been linked with a move to the Premier League with City this summer as Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure after failing to win a trophy this term.

But it now seems that City bosses will have to wait another season if they are to hire the former Barcelona manager, whose contract with the German giants expires next summer.

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Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed that Guardiola has made a promise to join City at the end of the 2015-16 season after discussions with the club.

Guardiola has won the Champions League twice with Barca and City’s overriding ambition is to be successful in Europe’s elite competition, so the Spaniard is their ideal candidate.

Though, contrasting reports suggest Guardiola is weighing up the Manchester United job, which could also be available at the end of next season.

What do you make of Pep Guardiola’s reported promise to join City?

Bayern Munich playmaker could follow Guardiola to City this summer – report

Manchester City have been linked with a move for Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara, but any deal would only go through if City manage to land Pep Guardiola as their manager, according to German source TZ.

Manchester City are looking to refresh an ageing squad this summer with Yaya Toure one of several players looking close to the exit door and so reinforcements will be needed.

Former Barca star Thiago has finally returned to the playing squad at Bayern after over a year out and has made two league starts for the Bavarians since returning.

The Spaniard’s current deal lasts until 2017 and so any City move would likely cost more than the £18 million fee that saw him move to Germany in 2013.

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The deal however, hangs on Pep Guardiola joining the Citizens if Manuel Pellegrini departs at the end of the current campaign.

Guardiola is favourite to take the reigns at City after Bild reported that he met with City sporting director Txiki Begiristain two weeks ago to discuss his current contract.

Begiristain is said to have met with Guardiola in a hotel to negotiate a deal to bring him to the Etihad Stadium, and that could see Thiago follow as he did when the former Barca coach joined Bayern in 2013.

Would Thiago be a good signing for Manchester City? Would Pep Guardiola be the ideal appointment?

Agent claims Everton star is better than Chelsea’s Diego Costa

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku‘s new agent, Mino Raiola has claimed his client is better than Chelsea star Diego Costa and claims the Belgian forward will play for either Manchester City, Manchester United, Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain one day.

The Daily Express reported that Lukaku would never have made the move to Everton if he had been represented by Raiola before the deal was agreed.

“If we had met each other earlier, he wouldn’t have played for Everton, maybe somewhere else, maybe he would still be at Chelsea,” he said.

“I want to be clear: Romelu is a better striker than Diego Costa and could have done the same as the Spaniard did this season.”

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Raiola went on to state that Lukaku will not be an Everton player for the long-term and believes his client will be plying his trade for one of Europe’s biggest sides.

“We will see what happens in the summer, but the Everton directors don’t have to think Rom will play there for the rest of his career.

“Later on, he’ll play for one of world’s best teams: PSG, Manchester City, Manchester United or Bayern Munich. Big names, but nothing is impossible as Rom has great potential.”

Costa has scored an impressive 19 goals in 23 Premier League games this season and is the joint top scorer in the league, alongside Harry Kane.

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Lukaku has just eight goals in 30 league games, so Raiola’s comments are a little surprising but it must be highlighted that he claimed client ‘could have’ emulated the Spaniard at Chelsea this campaign.

Jose Mourinho decided to sell Lukaku as he felt that the powerful Belgian was not the man to lead the Blues forward and Costa has certainly thrived in his first Premier League season.