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Lion Links: 8/9/22

European transfer rumor roundup, preparing for the U-20 Women’s World Cup, CAF wants action taken against Napoli president, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 06 MLS - New England Revolution at Orlando City Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It wasn’t the best weekend for Orlando soccer as the teams in purple only took one of the nine possible points on offer. Life goes on though, and the games will continue to come thick and fast so there are plenty of opportunities to right the ship for all three clubs. There’s plenty to talk through today, so let’s get into it.

But first, let’s wish Orlando City’s Alex Freeman a happy 18th birthday!

European Transfer Rumor Roundup

There are two big pieces to cover in the world of European transfer rumors. Firstly, Timo Werner is reportedly close to rejoining Red Bull Leipzig. The forward wishes to regain form ahead of November’s World Cup, and a deal is said to be in the works that’s worth around €30 million plus add-ons.

Secondly, Manchester United has reportedly begun talks with Juventus about the possibility of signing midfielder Adrien Rabiot. The 27-year-old has a year remaining on his contract, and Juventus is apparently willing to accept less than market value in order to ensure it gets some form of return on the out-of-form midfielder.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Prep

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is right around the corner and the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will be taking part in the competition. As such, there are a few important things to know about the tournament. 16 teams will be competing and the U-20 USWNT has been placed into a group with Japan, the Netherlands, and Ghana. The Yanks will open the tournament this Thursday against Ghana, and bring a 21-player roster to Costa Rica, with 18 of the players either currently in college or enrolling in the fall. Best of luck to the young Yanks!

CAF Wants Action Against Napoli President

The Confederation of African Football is pushing for disciplinary action to be taken against Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis after remarks he made about African players. Last week, De Laurentiis said that Napoli would not be signing any more African players unless they signed a form stating that they would not take part in the African Cup of Nations. AFCON is a month-long tournament that is often played in the winter, and the Napoli chief apparently doesn’t like not having some of his players in the middle of the season. While that’s understandable, sometimes in life you have to deal with situations that aren’t ideal, and trying to stop players from participating in continental tournaments was always likely to not go over very well.

Barcelona Disputes Frenkie de Jong’s Contract

Barcelona reportedly sent a letter to Frenkie de Jong in July which alleged that a contract renewal he signed two years ago under the club’s old board had irregularities. However, people close to de Jong have apparently said that the contract is legal and the letter was a strategy to pressure de Jong into either leaving Barca or accepting a reduction in his wages to help the club sign and register new players. The midfielder is apparently not particularly excited about either idea, and Barcelona may tell him he isn’t in the club’s plans to try to further increase the pressure on the player. The situation is a complicated one but the club has caught plenty of flak this summer for the way it has done business at times, particularly when it comes to de Jong.

Free Kicks

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.