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

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

South American Soccer

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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