Paris Saint-Germain’s French midfielder Blaise Matuidi (L) celebrates with Paris Saint-Germain’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) and Paris Saint-Germain’s French midfielder Jeremy Menez after he scored against Barcelona during the Champions League quarter-final football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on April 2, 2013. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
While new reports are suggesting that China will have to curb its massive spending, Antonio Conte has urged his players that they don’t have to be tempted by the Chinese Super League.
Chelsea currently sits atop the Premier League — seven points clear of Tottenham and Liverpool — but the club has recently been at the center of controversy as star striker Diego Costa has been linked with a move away from the club.
Costa missed his side’s 3-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday after several outlets reported a rift between the Spaniard and Conte.
The Chelsea manager told reporters following the match that Costa wasn’t available due to a back injury he suffered in training, but there has been continued speculation that the 28-year-old could head to China.
Conte has made it clear to his squad though that the quality of competition in England supersedes the money offered abroad.
“The money is not everything,” Conte told reporters. “When you play for a great team like Chelsea, you must be pleased.
“I think we are a great club and it is a great honour to play for Chelsea. For this reason I don’t see [China] as a threat for my players.
Oscar departed Chelsea this month to join Shanghai SIPG for a reported $72 million.
“I have to look at the past,” Conte said. “Oscar played with us, had a good offer from China and he went.
“But this league is really competitive and every player wants to come and play in this league.
“This league is the first in the world because of a lot of positive things, so I don’t think these offers from China are a threat for our league.”Follow @MattReedFutbol
D.C. United didn’t have a top 10 selection in the MLS SuperDraft, but the club is likely to end up with one of the most talented collegiate players in the game.
According to the Washington Post, D.C. United is expected to sign Wake Forest attacker Ian Harkes to a multi-year contract.
Harkes, 21, came up through D.C.’s academy system before playing all four years for the Demon Deacons. The midfielder has gained significant notoriety over his college career, which concluded with Hermann Trophy honors following his senior senior.
As a former member of the D.C. academy, Harkes didn’t have to declare for the SuperDraft and is expected to sign a Homegrown contract with D.C. United in the coming days.
Harkes has also been considering his options abroad, which included second-division sides in England, where he was born. Ian is the son of former U.S. Men’s National Team star John Harkes, who played both in the United States and England over his professional career.Follow @MattReedFutbol
MUNICH (AP) German champion Bayern Munich has signed center half Niklas Suele and central midfielder Sebastian Rudy from Hoffenheim, with both players due to complete the season with their current club before joining on July 1.
Bayern said Sunday on its website that Rudy – who is out of contract in the summer – has signed a three-year deal until 2020 while Suele has agreed a five-year deal until June 2022.
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“Signing two Germany internationals is an investment in FC Bayern’s future,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “Sebastian Rudy joins us on a free transfer. In the case of Niklas Suele we have reached a fair and serious agreement with Hoffenheim.”
The 26-year-old Rudy has played 177 league games for Hoffenheim since joining from Stuttgart in 2010, while the 21-year-old Suele is a homegrown talent and has made 90 league appearances with the club.
“In terms of it being a farewell I feel a little wistful,” Suele said on Bayern’s website, adding that the move gives him the chance of “maturing further with one of the best teams in the world.”
Suele’s signing appears to be linked to the form of long-serving Bayern defender Holger Badstuber, who has been sent on loan to Schalke to get more game time.
The long-serving center-back has struggled with injuries in recent years and is not in Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti’s plans, having played only three games this season, starting just once.
Fresh off of being selected at the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, several new MLSers were named to the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team roster for the team’s annual January camp.
Manager Tab Ramos has named his 24-man squad ahead of the latest camp, as the team prepares for the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in February.
Among the notable names in Ramos’ squad are recently drafted trio Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers) and Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC).
Additionally, 10 other MLS players have been called up by the U-20 side, including Orlando City defender Tommy Redding and New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (9): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy; Norwalk, Calif.), Marcello Borges (Michigan; Kearny, N.J.), Marlon Fossey (Fulham F.C.; Surbiton, ENG), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; Media, Pa.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, UT), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappingers Falls, N.Y), Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, TX), Jonathan Gonzalez (CF Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Jonathan Lewis (NYCFC; Plantation, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Ut.), Jonathan Suarez (Queretaro F.C.; Orange County, Calif.), Eryk Williamson (Maryland; Alexandria, Va.)
FORWARDS (4): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers, Bethesda, Md.), Brooks Lennon (Liverpool; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Josh Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.), Brandon Vazquez (Atlanta United FC; Chula Vista, CA)Follow @MattReedFutbol