Friday Kickoff: Valencia agree bid for Soldado, Giroud linked with Napoli move; and more

RobertoSoldadoSpain2 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With or without Gareth Bale’s services this season, Tottenham could be acquiring a proven forward with a great scoring acumen.

Late Thursday night, Tottenham announced that a reported £26 million transfer fee for Roberto Saldado of Valencia had been accepted by the La Liga club, opening the path for a move to the English Premier League. He is set to sign a reported four-year contract with the North London club.

The 28-year-old Spanish National Team member was a consistent goal-scorer in Spain with a number of clubs, but last season at Valencia he took his total to 30 goals in all competitions, a new personal high.

Soldado adds depth to the returning Tottenham strike core of Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermaine Defoe. While it’s unknown yet whether Bale will leave the club or not, Soldado has already made a plea in the Spanish press that he’d like to play with Bale at Spurs.

Here are some more stories to get your Friday started:

NAPOLI NOT DONE SPENDING YET

Despite spending millions on seven signings this summer, manager Rafael Benitez and his side Napoli aren’t finished spending yet.

Earlier this week, the agent of FC Porto’s Jackson Martinez and the Italian club came to an agreement over personal deals, and now all that’s left is negotiating a transfer fee. Unfortunately for Napoli, Porto drives a hard bargain, and won’t settle for less than €40 million.

It’s forced the Napoli front office to look for other forward options, and according to reports in Italy, Olivier Giroud of Arsenal is a player that Napoli is considering signing instead of Martinez. Giroud struggled at times last season, his first in English football, scoring just 17 times in 47 appearances.

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY REWIND

A number of friendly matches involving big clubs took place around the world on Thursday.

Bayern Munich won their second trophy of the preseason when they defeated Manchester City, 2-1, in the final of the Audi Cup. Despite the loss, Alvaro Negredo scored his first goal for the Sky Blues. Bayern’s Thomas Müller had one goal and one assist. Milan beat Sao Paulo, 1-0, in the third-place match.

In Indianapolis, Indiana, Chelsea defeated Inter Milan, 2-0, on the backs of two first-half goals. The opener came in the 13th minute on a beautiful curling goal by Oscar, in his first Chelsea appearance since returning to the club from a post-Confederations Cup break.

The English side were somewhat lucky to be awarded a penalty in the 29th minute, and Eden Hazard made no mistake, forcing Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic the wrong way to score the second goal of the match in front of a crowd of 41,983 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

QUICK KICKS

Liverpool have launched a £21 million bid for Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa. (REPORT)

Lazio captain Stefano Mauri has been banned for six months by the Italian Football Federation’s Disciplinary Committee. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich youngster Emre Can has made a permanent transfer to Bayer Leverkusen. (REPORT)

Newcastle is nearing a £7 million deal for Lyon forward Bafetembi Gomis. (REPORT)

Long-time Brazilian club coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo has been named the latest manager of Fluminense. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Soldado stepping into the Tottenham starting lineup? Do you see Napoli signing Giroud? Do you believe Bayern is well on their way to another league title?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Valencia agree bid for Soldado, Giroud linked with Napoli move; and more

  1. Bean says:

    There are a lot of speculation this morning on Clint Dempsey. Why is he not with the team, seems to be the main focus. People are trying to link him with Seattle Sounders.

    • John says:

      Speculation to the point Sounders fans were at the airport to see if he got off a plane last night haha.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Yeah, some guy at the San Francisco airport who was traveling to Seattle took a picture with Dempsey, so that obviously means that Deuce is going to the Sounders!!!

      …and then this guy realized that Deuce was going to a different gate and was not on his flight.

      Twitter, ladies and gentlemen. It is what it is.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        The rumor I heard was Dempsey was meeting with Everton, who had a game in SF 7/31 and another in LA tomorrow. While Dempsey was with Spurs and scored in China last week — and the geography could line up that way — it sounds like a little bit of a detour when they play again tomorrow against Monaco at their place (ie, back in Europe).

    • Don Pelayo says:

      Regardless, it is not meaningless that Dempsey is in the United States instead of with his team. I would actually put more stock into the Dempsey-to-Everton rumor. With Tottenham’s new signings, it would not surprise me in the slightest if Dempsey were offloaded. To be honest, it might be best for him (and for the USMNT) to find a new club where he will receive consistent playing time. Perhaps a return to Fulham!

      • AcidBurn says:

        Yes, the fact that Demps is not with his team IS significant, means that he is looking for other options.

        Makes sense, he’s not getting on the field in front of Bale, Soldado, Lennon, Adebayor, etc in the attacking midfield/fwd positions.

      • bryan says:

        i hadn’t heard about this until i came on here. based on what was said above, sounds like a Dempsey to Everton thing more than a Dempsey to Seattle thing.

  2. Jason says:

    No…he wants Champions’ league. He will go to the Earthquakes.

  3. Travis says:

    So Arsenal fails to sign a new forward and they are going to sell their one true striker they have to a team that took their number one target? Makes perfect sense, not. Also Giroud did not struggle last year as much as people make it out to be, 17 in 47 is not awful for your first year in a new league.

    • Camjam says:

      I had the same thought when I saw that. 17 in 47 is nothing to scoff at, and i’d be surprised if he doesn’t do better this year. He never looked like a guy who was lacking in talent, no matter what his form was like.

      • Travis says:

        He did waste some chances throughout the year but all in all I thought he actually had a decent year last year. A lot of people moving from France take a bit of time to acclimate to England and he was an above average striker to me. He holds up really well for Arsenal and is a better passer than people give him credit for.

  4. Naugles says:

    On teams 21-24, St. Louis had 48k for Chelsea v. Man City in May, Indy had 41k for Chelsea v. Inter last night. Indy has the the Indy 11 starting in the NASL next year. St. Louis: crickets.

    I’m sure the new ownership group in Columbus would like a team in Indy (three hour drive) as much or more than the ownership group in KC would want one in St.L (five hour drive).

  5. DJ777 says:

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