Chelsea announce 25 man squad for International Champions Cup

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Chelsea have announced the 25 man squad that will compete in the 2013 Guiness International Champions Cup in the United States.

The Blues will be boosted by the return of six players who missed the club’s three match tour of Asia trip due to their Confederations Cup commitments this summer: Brazil’s David Luiz and Oscar, Spain’s Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta and Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel.

The inclusion of Luiz, Mata and Torres will be a relief for Chelsea fans as the three have been the subject of transfer speculation throughout the summer.

Luiz and Mata had been linked with Manchester United in a swap deal for Wayne Rooney, while Torres has been pegged to go anywhere from Napoli to Atletico Madrid to Valencia.

Despite the rumors, manager Jose Mourinho has stated his intent of keeping all three players in the squad.

The Blues landed in Washington DC today to prepare for the first of three matches in this year’s ICC. That match, set to be played gainst Mourinho’s former club Inter Milan, will kick-off in Indianapolis on Thursday. The Blues then face either AC Milan or Valencia on Sunday, August 4th in New York before traveling to Miami for a final fixture on August 7th or 8th.

Chelsea will then conclude their U.S. tour on August 10th in a friendly match-up against AS Roma in Washington DC.

Here is the complete 25 man roster for Chelsea’s trip to the U.S.:

Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, Henrique Hilario, Jamal Blackman; Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertrand, David Luiz; John Mikel Obi, Michael Essien, Oscar, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Marco van Ginkel, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Victor Moses, Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne; Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, Demba Ba.

Transfer rumor roundup: Matic to Manchester United; Barkley, Everton news

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Tottenham Hotspur’s depth means it can wait out Everton as the Toffees demand plenty of money for young star Ross Barkley.

The 23-year-old England international won’t sign a new deal with Everton, and Ronald Koeman has been clear that he’s ready to cash in on the wantaway midfielder.

[ MORE: Latest on Ronaldo ]

Spurs are interested according to Sky Sports, but rolling their eyes at a requested fee of close to $64 million. So the North Londoners will wait, a move that makes sense given Barkley’s up-and-down form.

The Liverpool Echo says that Koeman is close to making it official with Sandro Ramirez, as the ex-Barcelona prospect will join Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen as new Toffees in a $7 million deal.

The BBC says Koeman will quickly move onto two more transfers, aiming to woo Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea City and center back Michael Keane from Burnley.


The Manchester Evening News says Manchester United is close to reuniting Jose Mourinho with defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic.

The tough-minded Serbian turns 29 in August, and would give Mourinho flexibility with Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera. United also has Michael Carrick as a deep-lying option.

Matic has 121 Premier League appearances and two titles since returning to Chelsea in January 2014.


 

Germany mulls letting China under-20s play league soccer

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BERLIN (AP) The German soccer federation is mulling a proposal to allow China’s under-20 team to play friendly matches in the fourth tier of its league system.

Because the Southwest Regional League is comprised of 19 clubs, each currently has two match-days free that can be used for friendly games. The one-off action would allow China’s under-20 team to prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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“Nothing has been fixed yet but the clubs are all in favor,” league president Felix Wiedemann told The Associated Press on Thursday. “There’s a lot of interest in it. It’s important to say that there will be no points at stake, so it won’t influence the outcome of the league.”

Clubs would receive about 15,000 euros ($16,700) in compensation for two home games against the Chinese side, if the plan is approved. The Chinese are planning on a base near Heidelberg in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Southwest Regional League members are meeting on July 11, when a decision will likely be made in consultation with the German soccer federation, Wiedemann said. The league kicks off at the end of the month.

China and Germany agreed to a five-year soccer partnership last November, aimed at developing the game in China with training and other programs.

WATCH LIVE: Australia vs. Cameroon in Confederations Cup

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Australia and Cameroon fight for their Confederations Cup lives on Thursday at 11 a.m.ET live on Telemundo Deportes.

[ WATCH LIVE: Cameroon vs. Chile on Telemundo Deportes ]

Cameroon will have its top attacker in the form of Vincent Aboubakar in its bid to overcome an opening loss to Chile, while Australia will hope goalkeeper Maty Ryan can get the job done following a 3-2 loss to Germany.

Germany and Chile square off at 2 p.m. ET.

Reports: De Boer offered Crystal Palace manager’s spot

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Multiple reports claim Crystal Palace has offered its managerial position to Dutch boss Frank De Boer.

Palace has been without a manager since Sam Allardyce retired after the season. The Eagles finished 15th in the Premier League, five points behind eighth place Southampton and seven points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Latest on Ronaldo ]

An accomplished defender at Ajax and Barcelona, the 47-year-old De Boer led Ajax in his first managerial stint before spending less than three months at Inter Milan last season.

De Boer twice won the Rinus Michels Award as the top manager in Dutch football, and would become just the second Palace manager from outside the British Isles.

He would inherit a very good group of attackers with Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, and Andros Townsend. Palace also has a talented midfielders Luka Milivojevic and Yohan Cabaye to go with marauding Dutch back Patrick Van Aanholt.