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Sunderland have agreed a loan deal for Inter Milan midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic, but fear Everton could make an 11th-hour bid to scupper the move.

Paolo Di Canio has been looking for a playmaker for his midfield and Kuzmanovic is willing to go to Sunderland, but the Daily Express suggest he may be holding out for interest from the Toffees, who will move for the 25-year-old if they lose Marouane Fellaini. Sunderland are also interested in midfielder Michael Bradley from Roma and Swansea midfielder Ki Yeung-Sung as Di Canio looks to conclude the busiest transfer window for an individual club in the history of the Premier League. They will need to sell to buy, so Stephane Sessegnon could be on his way out.
Tue, Aug 27, 2013 03:38:00 AM

Robert Huth scored in Leicester's comeback from 2-0 down to lead the Foxes to a 3-2 win against Birmingham City.

Leicester looked good in the second half of the friendly and deservedly scored three goals in the comeback. Huth was one of their best players down the stretch last season and he seems to be going into this year with the same form. The other two Leicester goals came from Shinji Okazaki and Danny Drinkwater, who are both competing for a starting spots this season.
Source: LCFC
Aug 2 - 11:55 AM

Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists that Romelu Lukaku will be fit for the big kick-off next weekend, despite leaving the pitch holding his left leg in a friendly this week…

The one thing that Roberto Martinez doesn’t need at the moment is an injury to Romelu Lukaku. With the futures of center-back John Stones and midfielders Kevin Mirallas and James McCarthy still in the balance, plus no much of adding to his squad before next weekend. You could forgive him for wanting to wrap Lukaku in cotton wool until moments before kick-off against Watford next weekend. Everton need to start well and that means Romelu Lukaku firing on all cylinders, so seeing him leaving the pitch clutching his hamstring after just 30 minutes of the match v Dundee doesn’t bode well. But Martinez insists that it is merely a bit of muscle fatigue and he fit be fit. Although he won’t take part in the Duncan Ferguson testimonial…
Aug 2 - 8:04 AM

Dick Advocaat is on the verge of adding signings five and six to the Sunderland squad, with midfielders Yaan M’Vila and Leroy Fer poised to sign…

Sunderland are hoping to conclude deals for midfielders Yaan M’Vila and Leroy Fer this week, taking their summer signings to six. Reports in France say Ruben Kazan’s M’Vila is to undergo a medical in the next 24hrs following a bust up with the Russian club and will be available for next weekend. In addition, the Black Cats are looking to bring in QPR’s Leroy Fer on a season loan. Fer has been relegated in his last two seasons – Sunderland fans will be hoping that is not an omen – and despite paying £8m for the Dutch international a year ago, QPR are keen to cut their wage bill. That will make it two center-backs, a right-back, two midfielders and a winger added this summer. With a center-forward still on the wish-list. Exciting times at the Stadium of Light…
Aug 2 - 8:16 AM

Liverpool fielded a strong XI in their trip to Finland and managed a pair of second half goals to beat HJK Helsinki, 0-2.

While we wait to see the much anticipated debuts for Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino in tomorrow's final preseason match, today's XI looked much closer to what Brendan Rodgers will have in mind when the club open the season next weekend away to Stoke City. After a rather uneventful first half, the Reds began taking control of affairs and Divock Origi would finally break the goalless affair in the 73rd minute. Only five minutes later, Pool doubled the advantage when Coutinho played a 1-2, then fired an angled shot that took a deflection and smashed the back of the net. As much growth as we witnessed in Coutinho last season, he still has a crack at getting even better. If he can add a few goals to the bevvy of assists he is sure to provide, he could move into the top tier of midfield options with David Silva-type numbers. Another interesting note, Joe Gomez got the start again today and is still has an outside chance of supplanting Alberto Moreno at left back.
Source: Guardian
Aug 1 - 4:00 PM

TalkSPORT have offered their eight recommendations for bargain Fantasy League players that will make a difference this season…

Based on the PremierLeague.com version of the game, TalkSPORT has offered a list of eight bargain priced players that they predict will have a big impact this season. Please note: this list does not represent the views of the author (although I do like number one and number six). Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel (£4.5m) is first up, with defenders Joel Ward (Palace) and Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) also considered snips at £4.5m and £5.5m. A midfield three of Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea), Mark Noble (West Ham) – both at £5.5m - and Southampton’s Victor Wanyama (at £4.5m) make the list. With the pick of the cut-price forwards thought to be West Brom’s Saido Berahino (£6.5m) and Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson (at just £5.5m). Over to you…
Source: Talksport
Aug 1 - 10:33 AM

Norwich City used goals from Wes Hoolahan and Cameron Jerome to defeat Championship side Brentford, 2-1, but the bigger story is that Youssouf Mulumbu made an early exit with an injury.

No details on the severity or even the exact location of the injury for Mulumbu, but it appeared to be an ankle issue. It happened with just ten minutes remaining in the contest. It would be a major blow to the Canaries should one of their key summer signings need to miss any time. Robbie Brady made his first start for his new club and the XI looked pretty close to what we should expect to see next weekend. The biggest question mark is at striker, where Lewis Grabban started today and through most of a productive preseason while Cameron Jerome, thought to be the preferred option has been working his way in gradually from an injury layoff. Perhaps Grabban has earned a Week 1 start, but with Jerome scoring in a substitute role today, expect the latter to reclaim the job relatively soon.
Aug 1 - 12:19 PM

AFC Bournemouth wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 0-0 draw against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

A couple of projected starters played in yesterday's friendly against Cardiff while the rest started today. Tyrone Mings was given another shift to prepare him for the starting gig at left back. Dan Gosling, Matt Ritchie, Callum Wilson and Shaun MacDonald all had shots on target but were denied by the Hoffenheim keeper. It was an encouraging effort from the defense though. If the Cherries can keep some clean sheets in the top flight, Mings and Simon Francis stand to carry very good value for the coming season.
Aug 1 - 12:35 PM

Crystal Palace finish up their preseason schedule with a 1-1 draw against Fulham.

Palace looked the stronger side, as they should, but they conceded a goal early and were unable to convert any of the several chances they created until Souare was able to head in from a Jordon Mutch corner in the 51st minute. The outfield X for Alan Pardew is looking mostly settled, leaving the biggest question at keeper. Wayne Hennessey started the game while Alex McCarthy rode the bench. No sign of incumbent Julian Speroni who is nursing a minor hand injury. Speroni should still be considered top of the depth chart, but the Eagles have three credible options. There are too many keepers that carry no risk at all to try and gamble on one from Palace. Best to allow the season to get underway and wait for one to be established before looking that direction.
Aug 1 - 1:00 PM

Newcastle wrapped up a less-than-impressive preseason with a 0-1 loss to Borussia M'gladbach in front of the St. James' faithful.

That makes three losses and a draw in the Magpies' final four friendlies. While the results "don't matter", it cannot help the morale of a club looking to move ahead from their poor showing last season. On a positive note, the defense wasn't a disaster, as McClaren put forth an experienced line of Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor and Massadio Haidara. Fabricio Coloccini is still missing from the squad, continuing the speculation that he is on the verge of an exit. Chancel Mbemba then should have a very good shot at starting Week 1 after getting a run out today. Odds are, he will partner Taylor next weekend. Taylor is looking the only 4.0 defender in FPL that will be in a Week 1 XI.
Aug 1 - 1:18 PM

Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom will be joining teammate Isaac Hayden on loan at the KC Stadium for the 2015-16 season.

Akpom has been impressive when he has been given a chance in pre-season matches and in early round Cup matches. A move to relegated Hull City will presumably give him experience as he attempts to make the difficult leap from the Arsenal youth team to the Arsenal senior squad. The talent appears to be there but with Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud ahead of him it was always unlikely he was going to get significant playing time anywhere other than the Arsenal U21 side. Arsenal supporters will have good cause to tune in to Hull City matches this season.
Source: BBC Sport
Aug 1 - 1:40 PM

Swansea City concluded their preseason with a 0-0 result against Deportivo La Coruna at the Liberty Stadium.

Taylor started the Swans' previous friendly a week ago and this was the final test before opening away to Chelsea next weekend. To see him starting again is a good sign that he has held Franck Tabanou off for now for the left back spot. Interestingly, Tabanou came on in the second half and was at the center of the game's biggest controversy. Deportivo had a shot hit off of Tabanou's hand in the area, but no penalty was awarded, resulting in a scuffle that ended with five yellow cards being issued.
Aug 1 - 2:59 PM




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