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

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

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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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