Wednesday Kickoff: Deulofeu nears Everton loan move; Olimpia in Copa Libertadores final; and more

Soccer - International Soccer - FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 - Group stage - Group A - USA v Spain

By DAN KARELL

Roberto Martinez is close to bringing in one of the world’s best youngsters to Goodison Park.

Barcelona product Gerard Deulofeu is nearing a loan deal that will take him to Everton until the end of the 2013/2014 season, giving him a taste of Premier League action and giving Everton a dynamic forward up top.

The 19-year-old recently starred for the Spanish Under-20 side that bowed out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, scoring twice and assisting on a handful of other goals. According to reports in Spain, had Deulofeu decided not to leave, he’d be stuck for another season at Barcelona B, which plays in the Spanish second division.

Last season, Deulofeu played 33 times for Barcelona 8, scoring 18 goals in the league, the fourth best total. The Spaniard also made three appearances for the Barcelona first team last season, all off the bench.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday kicked off:

OLIMPIA IN THE COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL

Club Olimpia of Paraguay’s dream season is nearing a Hollywood-like finish.

The club has moved on to the Copa Libertadores final despite losing on Tuesday night to Colombian side Santa Fe, 1-0, winning the tie on aggregate, 2-1.

Wilmer Medina, who scored four goals in the competition for Santa Fe, scored the lone goal of the match in the 75th minute, bundling home a loose ball in the box after a free kick bounced his way off the post.

For Olimpia, this is the farthest they have gone in the Copa Libertadores since 2002, when they won it all for the third time in club history. They’ll face either Newell’s Old Boys of Argentina or Brazilian power Atletico Miniero in the final.

ITALIAN CLUBS IN SPOTLIGHT FOR MATCH-FIXING

Italian clubs Lazio and Genoa are at the center of match-fixing allegations from two matches played in 2011, including one between the two sides that finished 4-2 to Lazio.

The two teams are currently entering a second stage of investigations by the Italian authorities, and could face penalties such as point deductions if convicted ahead of the start of the new season.

The allegations center around ten different individuals and the clubs, including Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri and Genoa midfielder Omar Milanetto. If any of the individuals are convicted, they could face up to 3.5 years behind bars. Both of the player’s lawyers have denied the allegations.

CLUB AMERICA’S BENITEZ MAKES MOVE TO QATAR

The three-time leading goalscorer in Mexican soccer is on his way to a new challenge.

Club America confirmed on Monday the sale of Christian “Chucho” Benitez on a permanent transfer to El-Jaish in Qatar, with the transfer fee reported to be worth $15 to $18 million.

The former Birmingham City player now joins a number of foreigners who have made the move to play their soccer in Qatar, including former Real Madrid captain Raul, former Brazil international Nilmar, and Ivorian winger Bakari Kone.

During his two seasons with Club America, the 27-year-old Ecuadorian forward scored an amazing 52 goals in 79 Liga MX games. Prior to America, Benitez played with Santos Laguna, Birmingham City for one season, and El Nacional in his native Ecuador.

QUICK KICKS

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has announced that he will resign after the summer transfer window closes due to his long-term ban for making contact with a referee after a match. (REPORT)

According to Deloitte, Qatar will spent upwards of $200 billion on stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. (REPORT)

AS Roma are considering a £7 million bid for Arsenal winger Gervinho, reuniting the Ivory Coast international with Rudi Garcia. (REPORT)

Former Mexico National Team member Nery Castillo has joined Rayo Vallecano for next season, the 10th different team in his career. (REPORT)

Deemed surplus to requirements, Real Madrid has sold Jose Callejon to Napoli for €10 million. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Deulofeu starring in the Premier League? Impressed by Olimpia’s run to the finals? Do you agree with Leonardo’s decision to resign?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Deulofeu nears Everton loan move; Olimpia in Copa Libertadores final; and more

  1. The Imperative Voice says:

    Fulham U18 player Emerson Hyndman from the USA got a pro contract extension. Is he related to the FC Dallas coach? How has he signed over there before 18?

    • MMV says:

      Yes, he is the grandson on Schellas. Emerson was able to sign before 18 because he is not deemed an international transfer due to him being apart of Fulham’s academy.

      • Joe+G says:

        Actually, he has a Portuguese passport, so he is an EU citizen and able to enroll in their academy without an issue.

    • Matt C says:

      His grandson.
      he’s been in Fulham’s youth programs for at least 2 years. Midfielder who, according to reports, has shown skill, flair and leadership…even for his size. Apparenlty pretty small.

      • TomG says:

        One of the more promising kids in our system from everything I’ve read. I didn’t realize he was so small, though.

        • Matt C says:

          From FFC’s website. Could be a little old though.
          Date of Birth: 9 April 1996 (17 years old)
          Place of Birth: Dallas, United States
          Nationality: American
          Height: 163cm
          Weight: 53kg

          I think that makes him 5’3″ and about 120. Like i wrote, these stats could be a little old.

  2. ManicMessiah says:

    I wish the linked article made specific references to what exactly the charges were from last year. After a quick google search I am still a bit unclear whether both sets of players merely decided on a “gentleman’s agreement” to draw the match, or whether money exchanged hands between them and a third party.

    Also, are Italian clubs just better at catching match fixing, or is it just a bigger problem than other places, or does it get played up more when it happens because there is a stereotype that this behavior goes on in Italy?

  3. dikranovich says:

    god willing, Leonardo will catch an elbow on his way out. dirtbag!!!

  4. Dinho says:

    7 million for Gervinho? You’ve got to be kidding me. That guy is useless.

    • Travis says:

      That is not really true, he panics at times but I actually think that would be a low price for him. He has class and has shown it at times, the EPL clearly just isnt the right fit

  5. TomG says:

    Great move for the Toffees. That kid is awesome.

  6. bryan says:

    great signing for Everton. i’m surprised there is no mention that Everton have signed Joel…the U-21 Spanish keeper. he’s going to give Howard a fight. i don’t expect him to bench Howard at all, but the dude is a good keeper so Howard will have to remain sharp.

  7. ed - houston says:

    Benitez to Qatar? Come on man, play in a big league and the money will come.

    • MetrofanNo1 says:

      Anyone know the quality of Qatar League? I mean, their national team can’t be that good. Man, what money can do. If only the MLS could pay close to that amount. The thing is the transfer fees. The other is what his wages are going to be.