By DAN KARELL
Tottenham have completed one of the deals of the summer, bringing over Brazilian National Team midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians in a £17 million ($26 million) transfer.
The 24-year-old scored the game-winning goal on Wednesday against Uruguay to lead Brazil to the Confederations Cup finals, and since earning a regular place in the starting lineup of the Selecao, has decided it’s time to move overseas. Since 2010, Paulinho has been at Corinthians, where he has won the Brazilian Serie A, Paulista state championship, Copa Libertadores, and Club World Cup.
Paulinho is expected to complete the deal next week after the Confederations Cup ends on Sunday. His Brazilian teammate David Luiz has already tipped the youngster to be a star in the Premier League next season.
Though he plays as a holding midfielder, Paulinho has shown a propensity to get forward as shown by the number of goals he has scored at club level, 39 in total for club and country in all competitions since his move to Corinthians.
Here are some more stories to get your Friday started:
MONACO DOCKED POINTS FOR FAN VIOLENCE
AS Monaco may have a financial advantage over nearly every other soccer club in Ligue 1, but as of now, they won’t have an advantage on points.
The newly promoted club were docked two points (three points with one suspended) by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the soccer governing body in France, as a result of fan violence towards the end of last season at a match against Le Mans.
Monaco fans lit flares, invaded the pitch, and assaulted the referee according to the release from the LFP, which also sees Monaco’s first home match of the season, on August 17 against Montpellier, will be played behind closed doors.
Home fans will have to wait until August 24 to see the likes of James Rodriguez, Joao Moutinho, and Radamel Falcao play at the Stade Louis II in Ligue 1.
MAN UNITED TO MAKE SECOND BID FOR BAINES
David Moyes seems pretty set on bringing Leighton Baines with him to Old Trafford this summer.
After Everton FC rejected an original bid for the English left back, the new Manchester United boss Moyes has reportedly submitted an improved offer of upwards of £20 million ($30.5 million) which includes bonuses and other add-ons. Baines still has two seasons remaining on his contract, and it’s thought that it may even cost more than the reported £20 million to take him from Goodison Park.
The 27-year-old was named to last season’s PFA Team of the Year and is widely regarded as one of the top left backs in the world, making new Everton manager Roberto Martinez’s job that much more difficult should they sell Baines.
The move for Baines could spell the end at United for Patrice Evra, who turned 32-year-old last month. Reports out of England state that Evra has numerous interested clubs back in his home nation of France.
NEYMAR TO TAKE ON FORMER CLUB IN FIRST MATCH
Brazilian wonderkid Neymar’s first game with Barcelona will be against his former club, Santos FC.
The Spanish giants have invited Santos to play a friendly match for the Joan Gamper Trophy, set to take place on August 2. The match was part of the €57 million ($74.5 million) deal to bring Neymar to Barcelona, which includes a second friendly match as well, set for a time in the future, in Brazil.
Neymar will join his teammates on July 15 for the start pre-season training, with the club’s first friendly match set to take place on July 20 in Poland.
Ajax manager Frank De Boer has signed a new four-year contract after winning the Eredivisie title each of the last three seasons. (REPORT)
Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester City could follow Carlos Tevez to Juventus this summer as well. (REPORT)
Newcastle are interested in a double signing for AS St. Etienne’s Pierre-Emrick Aubemayang and Kurt Zouma, willing to spend upwards of £25 million ($38.13 million) for the pair. (REPORT)
Sevilla have turned down a €9 million ($11.75 million) bid for highly-regarded midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. (REPORT)
What do you make of these reports? Do you believe Paulinho can be a star for Spurs? Do you agree with the sanctions against Monaco? Should United break the bank for Baines?
Share your thoughts below.