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Monday Ticker: Newcastle snatches up Rondon, Dortmund acquires Witsel, and more


Newcastle United’s business this summer did not end on Monday as they acquired a veteran striker on-loan.

The Magpies have confirmed the signing of Venezuelan international Salomon Rondon on a season-long loan from West Bromwich Albion, Sky Sports reported. With Rondon moving to St. James Park, forward Dwight Gayle has gone the opposite direction with Newcastle paying reportedly £2 million.

Rondon will add a physical presence to the Newcastle front after the Magpies also let Aleksandar Mitrovic head to Fulham. The 28-year-old scored seven times for West Brom last season, as the team was relegated to the EFL Championship.

Gayle netted six league goals for Newcastle in 2017-18, a year after scoring 23 in their promotion season to the top-flight.

“It’s an honour to be here and I’m excited to get started with my teammates,” Rondon said in a team release. “The clubs were talking for a long time and now I’m focused on the season to help my teammates to get the points to do well this season.”

Rondon is Rafa Benitez’s sixth summer signing, as they kick off their season this coming weekend.

Axel Witsel signs with Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund bolstered their midfield on Monday with the signing of a Belgian international.

Former Zenit and current Tianjin Quanjian midfielder Axel Witsel has agreed to a deal with the Bundesliga side, according to ESPN. Witsel joined Tianjin in 2017 from Zenit after 122 appearances with the Russian giants. The reported fee for Witsel is €20 million.

He is coming off a six-appearance summer with Belgium at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, helping the Red Devils to a third-place finish. He has earned 96 caps with Belgium and has also seen time domestically with Standard Liege and Benfica.

“It was my goal to return to Europe from China  after the World Cup,” Witsel said. “I am happy and also proud to be able to play for BVB. I didn’t need much time after our first talks. Borussia Dortmund to me are one of the best clubs on the mainland [Europe]. To be honest, I can’t wait to play in front of 81,000.”

Witsel becomes the seventh signing for Dortmund this summer who began their new league season on Aug. 26th.

Everton close to signing Shakhtar Donetsk’s Bernard

Everton are seeking to acquire another winger in the form of Brazilian international Bernard.

The Shakhtar Donetsk man recently rejected a new contract from the Ukrainian side, and had been linked to Everton, Inter Milan, and West Ham United, Goal reported.

At 25, Bernard is expected to complete a medical on Merseyside and finalize personal terms on Tuesday. During five seasons at Shakhtar, Bernard has made over 150 appearances for the club including 43 in European competitions. His last cap for Brazil came in 2014, but still could be in the future plans for the National Team.

Bernard’s professional career began with Atletico Mineiro in 2010 before moving to Shakhtar three years later. If he does join Everton, he will become the second Brazilian signing under Marco Silva this summer joining Richarlison.

Bordeaux signs Nigerian winger Samuel Kalu

After losing Brazilian playmaker Malcom to Barcelona, Bordeaux looks to have gotten his replacement.

Nigerian playmaker Samuel Kalu has joined Gus Poyet’s side from Belgian side Gent signing a five-year deal with the Ligue 1 side ESPN reported. The 20-year-old was impressive for Gent in 2017-18, scoring six goals and adding seven assists in 32 appearances.

Joining from AS Trencin in January 2016, Kalu made an immediate impact with Gent, registering 10 points in 16 matches. Although with no international caps yet for the Super Eagles, a move to France’s top-flight should give Kalu more exposure on the national scale.

Bordeaux opens their 2018-19 season on Sunday against Strasbourg.


  1. Was that meant to be ironic?

    MLS is indeed more interesting now for viewers than it used to be, but with all due respect, who cares about USL except the players who play in it, and perhaps some residents of the midsize cities that have a team?

    Maybe I and other silent readers are in a minority here, but I’m more concerned about balanced coverage of the international soccer that we can watch, with MLS in reasonable perspective. Much as I used to appreciate the SBI site, it seems to have gappier coverage this year than last, with a strange recent focus on young players in relatively unimportant situations. (Cyle Larin, good for him … but against the Faroe Islands? Really?)

    The most interesting games this week might have been the US Open Cup semifinals, one of which was apparently hard-fought. But it was evidently not televised and also not widely reported.

    There would be nothing against adding some USL coverage, if there were a small group interested in it, but surely more viewers and fans would be interested in the games that are actually available and interesting to watch.

    Liga MX has already started; there seems to have been some flap at Santos, but I haven’t been able to pick up quite what. Giles Barnes and Landon Donovan seem to have left León, unsurprisingly, but is Yarbrough starting or not, and is Alvarado playing or not for Necaxa?

    And isn’t the Premier League starting tomorrow afternoon? I have been mildly interested in the transfer news for both it and the Bundesliga, but have had to piece together both it and the TV schedules for things like the ICC from various other sources for a while now.

    With English-language American TV actually cutting even further back on overviews of soccer such as ESPN FC (never a favorite, but better than nothing), it seems at least good that Univisión, with two on-air channels, will have the rights to the Champions League. But will they also be showing any early-round games, and where will other soccer be shown this season? What can we see on network or standard cable, not obscure sources like streaming?

    I hope that if SBI is looking to hire staff, and increase or at least not decline in its coverage, it will focus on the information of most interest to the most people, which might in turn attract additional visitors to the site. Part of what’s most interesting about soccer is the way it crosses international boundaries and brings people together. In the present environment, we may need to look outward, not inward, more than ever.

  2. as an example, what is the most important news this week? first, mls. second, yanks and canadians abroad (in whichever leagues/tiers they may be). third, the usl, our second tier of pro play in north america. fourth, euro news about scores and transfers.

    i realize that in the past, euro news was rated higher. BUT THAT’S MY POINT. the times have changed. the focus in north american soccer is more on the usl these days as it deepens, matures and solidifies.


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