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Fiorentina agree deal for Basanta

Il Corriere dello Sport understands that Fiorentina are set to sign Argentine defender Jose Maria Basanta from Monterrey.

Viola have agreed to match the player’s $ 3.5 million release clause, and he is expected to arrive in Florence by the end of the week.

Jose Basanta is essentially a central defender, but he also impressed in a left-back role, having deputized for Marcos Rojo in the World Cup quarter-final clash against Belgium.

The experienced defender has spent last six years at Monterrey, making a total of 208 league appearances and scoring 7 goals.

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New signings on show in Hull double-header

Hull City showcased three headline close-season signings in two friendly matches on Monday.

Steve Bruce named two strong squads for the games against North Ferriby United and Harrogate Town, with Tom Ince, Robert Snodgrass and Jake Livermore – who was on loan at the club last season – all featuring against the former.

While the trio of new arrivals played their part in a 1-1 draw, another team including the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Robbie Brady and Yannick Sagbo ran out 5-0 winners at Harrogate.

Ince, who spurned Inter to move to the KC Stadium, was brought down for a second-half penalty that was converted by Shane Long, but the visitors did not have it all their own way.

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Wayne Rooney 1/16 to rebuff transfer talk and stay with Manchester United this summer

soccernews fooball betting tips pic3 Wayne Rooney 1/16 to rebuff transfer talk and stay with Manchester United this summer

Competition: Premier League
Market: Rooney to stay at Man Utd
Odds: 1/16 @ Ladbrokes

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney had been linked with a move away from Old Trafford all through last season. Chelsea made a bid for him that Rooney was very close to considering, but he signed a new deal with United instead months later.

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Luis Enrique´s Barca reign up and running after Recreativo win

Luis Enrique’s first fixture as Barcelona coach ended in a 1-0 victory as Joan Roman’s goal saw off Recreativo Huelva on Saturday.

A legendary player at the Camp Nou, Luis Enrique was appointed as Gerardo Martino’s successor in May and Roman’s strike in the second half ensured Barca clinched the Colombino Trophy.

Luis Enrique named a youthul matchday squad and swapped the entire XI at half-time – leading to a far from classic encounter.

However, Roman’s goal ensured Luis Enrique a positive start to his coaching career with the club ahead of next week’s friendly with Nice.

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Luatua eyeing All Blacks return

168983454 3167159 Luatua eyeing All Blacks return

Raring to go: Steven Luatua

After some poor early season form saw him losing his starting place at the Blues, Steven Luatua has re-emerged as an All Blacks contender.

Luatua delivered some of his best performances of the year during the latter stages of the Blues’ season, and his efforts against the Western Force and Crusaders showed signs of the form that saw him playing in nine Tests for the All Blacks in 2013.

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan was also impressed with his performance in their final match against the Chiefs, saying Luatua played exactly like a blindside flanker should in that clash.

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Lazio not giving up on Astori, De Vrij

Serie A outfit Lazio are set to launch a final assault on defenders Davide Astori and Stefan de Vrij, reports Il Corriere dello Sport.

The Biancocelesti have been in talks for the two centre-backs for a couple of weeks now, but there have been little progress in the negotiations.

Nevertheless, Lazio officials are still working hard on the two deals and hope to sign the two footballers for a combined fee of €10m to €12m.

As far as Davide Astori is concerned, the Biancocelesti are still €3 million short of matching Cagliari’s valuation, but the good news is there are no serious rivals for the player’s signature.

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Late Kolarov penalty gives Man City friendly win

A late penalty from Aleksandar Kolarov gave Manchester City a 2-1 win over Hearts as they continued their preparations for the new season.

The Serbian stepped up to earn victory for the Premier League champions at Tynecastle on Friday.

Kolarov’s winner came after Osman Sow had cancelled out Scott Sinclair’s first-half opener early in the second half as City got back to winning ways following a 2-0 loss at Dundee five days’ earlier.

Sinclair, who has rarely been used since moving to the Etihad Stadium from Swansea City, put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute, but the goal owed more to the good work of the Spanish duo of Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo.

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