Thursday Kickoff: Spurs agree to Soldado deal; Gerrard urges Suarez to stay at Liverpool; and more

RobertoSoldado (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The on-again, off-again transfer saga of Valencia’s Roberto Soldado to Tottenham Hotspur is finally over.

Tottenham announced Thursday morning that they had reached an agreement for the transfer of the 28-year-old Spanish striker to White Hart Lane. The transfer is reportedly worth Soldado’s release clause of €30 million ($39.7 million), which smashes Tottenham’s transfer record set earlier this summer with the signing of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.

Valencia’s Superdeporte is reporting Tottenham will pay an initial fee of €12 million with annual payments of €6 million coming over the next three years. The striker is set to undergo a medical in London on Thursday.

The former Real Madrid man scored 82 goals in his 114 appearances for Valencia. After a five-year absence, Soldado returned to the Spanish national team this summer as part of the country’s Confederations Cup squad.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

GERRARD URGES SUAREZ TO STAY AT LIVERPOOL

While the drama surrounding Luis Suarez’s future at Liverpool continues to build, his current captain has made a plea for the star striker to stay at Anfield.

Midfielder Steven Gerrard has urged Suarez to “give it one more year” as the club seeks to return to Champions League action, something the troubled Uruguayan striker wants as part of a new transfer to EPL rivals Arsenal.

“Luis is the best footballer I’ve ever played with and alongside Gareth Bale, Luis is the third best player in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the moment,” Gerrard said. “I don’t think Arsenal is a step up. Us, Arsenal and Tottenham are fighting for one of the Champions League places.”

Gerrard, who has played for Liverpool his entire career, also said the club is one marquee signing away from giving Suarez the help he needs in attack for a Champions League run. The 33-year-old midfielder will play in a testimonial match this weekend against Olympiacos, who were Liverpool’s opponents in a famous 2004 match where Gerrard delivered a late goal to put the Reds into the knockout stage.

CARDIFF CITY SIGN CAULKER FROM SPURS

One of the English Premier League’s newest clubs have made another splash in the summer transfer window by signing a bright young star from one of the league’s biggest clubs.

On Wednesday, the newly promoted Bluebirds announced the signing of Tottenham defender Steven Caulker for a reported £8 million ($12.1 million), which would break a club transfer record that was established at the beginning of July with the signing of Denmark international Andreas Cornelius.

The 21-year-old Caulker, a Spurs youth product, made 28 appearances for Andre Villas-Boas’s side last season. He signed a four-year contract with Tottenham last July in his return from a successful loan to EPL side Swansea City.

Caulker scored a goal in his only appearance for the English national team, a November friendly versus Sweden. He captained his country’s squad during this summer’s European Under-21 Championship.

EVERTON DEFEAT JUVENTUS ON PENALTIES IN INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP

Led by American goalkeeper Tim Howard, Everton opened their International Champions Cup with a thrilling shootout win over defending Italian champions Juventus.

The Toffees prevailed 6-5 in penalties after finishing 1-1 with Juve in 90 minutes at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Kevin Mirallas and Kwadwo Asamoah traded second-half goals before the shootout, which ended with Howard’s save of a Federico Peluso attempt.

“Tim Howard is a true leader,” new Everton manager Roberto Martinez said after the match, adding that “you couldn’t have a better man standing in the goal” for a penalty kick shootout.

The preseason tournament, formerly known as the World Football Challenge, will continue on Thursday with two more matches, Chelsea vs. Inter Milan in Indianapolis and Real Madrid vs. Los Angeles Galaxy in Phoenix.

QUICK KICKS

Qatari club El Jaish says former Club America striker Christian Benitez died suddenly on Monday of heart failure. (REPORT)

Newcastle United are closing in on a loan deal for Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy, who turned down a move to St. James’ Park earlier this year. (REPORT)

Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna have avoided automatic relegation to the country’s third division after a third party agreed to cover debt payments owed to its players. (REPORT)

England national team manager Roy Hodgson will coach the country’s U-21s in August as the search continues for Stuart Pearce’s replacement. (REPORT)

FIFA says a player from the Tahitian national team failed a drug test after the nation’s 8-0 loss to Uruguay during this summer’s Confederations Cup. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? See Soldado having success at Tottenham Hotspur? Think Suarez should listen to Gerrard and stay at Liverpool? Surprised at Cardiff’s big signing?

Share your thoughts below.

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19 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Spurs agree to Soldado deal; Gerrard urges Suarez to stay at Liverpool; and more

  1. Judging Amy says:

    Tottenham experts: What, if anything, does Soldado’s signing do to Deuce’s playing time? Explain fully.

    • Brett says:

      Spurs seem committed to Dempsey as a forward. I don’t think AVB rates is versatility as highly as Hodgson or Jol did. This obviously bodes poorly for his playing time as they paid SIGNIFICANTLY more for Soldado. I would imagine, with that fee, they want him #1 ahead of Dempsey and Adebayor in that role.

      • Brett says:

        AVB will change between 1 and 2 forward formations, but for the most part expect to see Dempsey on the bench or playing in less important matches to give others a rest.

        I expect him to go primarily with a 4-2-3-1. Sandro and Paulinho will play a pulley system ahead of the backline, Dembele ahead of them in the middle flanked by Bale (assuming he stays) and Lennon. Up top Soldado, backed-up by Defoe, Dempsey, and Adebayor. I suppose training will determine the order, but with an investment like that they almost have to give Soldado the lion’s share of first-team minutes.

        • Phil B says:

          I would hope he slips into that second striker role over Dembele. It’s tough to predict, but Deuce is a fighter and he has consistently proven that he deserves a prominent role.

    • Gary Page says:

      I’m convinced that Bale is gone, so it depends on how Spurs spends all that money. With the sale of Caulker and the Bale $, they will have plenty to spend, even with the purchase of Soldado. I suspect they will get another striker and another defender at least. With Bale gone, I think Dempsey will get plenty of playing time as the other midfielders aren’t real scorers. He could take Bale’s position on the left, as he played for Fulham.

  2. Brett says:

    I’m not a Spurs fan. Dempsey’s gotta get out of there. I doubt we will ever see him in the form he was in during his last season at Fulham if he can’t get regular matches. And don’t give me the “But he’s training with good players” excuse. I know Dempsey would rather play in Champions League in a limited role than play a feature role at a mid-table club, but he can worry about that once he’s retired from international football. We need him in top form and fitness if we have any shot at doing damage in Brazil.

    At this point I’m hoping that Liverpool sells Suarez and uses the money to buy Dempsey and another player.

    • Jake says:

      But would he like a limited role with a Europa League club? That’s what’s on the table right now.

    • wides says:

      As a Liverpool fan and USMNT fan, I would’ve loved Deuce on the team last year. But that ship has sailed. Liverpool aren’t going to shell out much of a transfer fee for a player of Deuce’s age, and obviously last year, a year younger, they wouldn’t meet Fulham’s asking price.

      Seriously doubt it happening. And if he wants CL, then he’ll have to head to another country.

  3. AcidBurn says:

    I don’t see how Dempsey can possibly be a first-team player now at Spurs. There are six forward positions: 3 of them will be filled by Dembele, Paulinho and Sandro.
    Bale is a given for the fourth.
    Soldado will be the fifth (no way they pay that money for him to be on the bench).
    And then you have Lennon, Adebayor, and Dempsey for the sixth.

    Yup, time for Deuce to get out of there unless he wants to sit on the bench.

  4. Iggy says:

    Comments here are way to negative RE Dempsey’s playing time. Dempsey has always stepped up to challenges. With all the competitions, he’ll get plenty of playing time. Not only that, he’s proven in the EPL to be able to score some really clutch goals in huge games (both spurs and fulham). He’ll get plenty of time.

  5. Gary Page says:

    These anti-Dempsey comments are garbage. Last year people were predicting he’d never get off the bench. A couple of weeks ago they were saying Spurs were going to sell him. Now they are saying he’s will be stuck on the bench. At Fulham, every time they changed managers, he had to earn his way back on the team. He’s been counted out more times than a punch drunk fighter, but he always manages to fight his way onto the pitch and become an important player for his team. This year will be no different.

    • FC Lubbock says:

      +1

    • NC Red says:

      Seriously, we should be happy that he’s playing for a team competing for a top 4 spot in the league. Anyone who wants to play in a top 4 side knows that there’s going to be competition for playing time, which should only make Dempsey a better player in the long and even short run. Saying he should go to a lesser side (like Liverpool) in order to be guaranteed more playing time would show a true lack of ambition for one of the best players the US team has ever had (and shows just how far Liverpool has fallen).

    • MLBWARisntreal says:

      He’s not at Fulham. This cliche BS of “he overcomes obstacles” is some melodramatic nonsense.

      He’s at Tottenham–and Tottenham just spent 30M on one of the best strikers in the world–and brought in Paulihno one of the best young midfielders in the world. Where exactly do you think Dempsey is going to play?

      He isn’t playing over Sandro, Bale, Dembele, Soldado or Paulihno. He’ll be on a bench rotation with Adebayor who is rated over him and Lennon.

      If they were happy with him they wouldn’t be bringing in people WHO PLAY HIS SPOT!

      God. Get your head out of the sand.

      • kryptonite says:

        AVB is not going to play Dembele, Sandro and Paulihno together much, especially if Bale is gone. When scoring last year, Dembele looked like he had the greatest stroke of brilliant luck than a planned shot. Soldado and Defoe will bear too much pressure to score if Dempsey and Sigurdsson do not get significant time (unless more midfield help comes from the Bale transfer).

    • KNPonder says:

      Agreed. Dempsey’s strengths are his versatility and his work ethic. He has always had to fight for a spot . . . this is nothing new. His versatility aids him in this fight for a spot as he can play up to 4 positions in either a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1. While he may not be first choice on day 1, he will at least be a key bench guy. Considering the number of matches in the calendar along with injuries, dips in form, matchups, etc; he will should find plenty of time on the pitch. It is not like Duece can only play one position and is buried on the depth chart behind two guys that are significantly better. He will be in the mix for time. Soldado’s purchase really does not affect him too much in my mind. A full-time lone strike is not the best position for him. He is just a fill-in guy there and no upper table team would cast their lot with him full-time in that slot.

      • Brett says:

        He’s only “versatile” if his manager thinks he is. How many positions did Clint actually play last season for Spurs? It seemed like he was never even tried in the left-midfield spot he was comfortable in at Fulham.

  6. SilverRey says:

    Christiano Ronaldo throws like a wuss:
    link to bbc.in

    Aha-ha-ha-ha!! Aha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!!!!