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Transfer rumor roundup: Rooney, Ighalo targeted by CSL, Foxes chase Ramirez

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With the transfer window rapidly coming to a close, Premier League sides from top to bottom remain active in January.

[ MORE: More transfer gossip ]

— The Chinese Super League continues its attempt to poach the world’s biggest stars despite uncertainty over the league’s future spending habits.

Wayne Rooney has been offered over $1 million on a weekly basis to join the CSL, with several of the leagues sides reportedly interested in the veteran Manchester United attacker, according to the Sun.

The 31-year-old recently became United’s all-time leading goalscorer after surpassing 250 goals with the club.

— Meanwhile, Odion Ighalo is also being eyed by China with a reported offer of $28 million on the table for the Watford striker.

After netting 17 goals last season for the Hornets, Ighalo has found the back of the net just twice in the PL over the last 12 months.

— Leicester is reportedly willing to increase its offer to Middlesbrough in order to lure attacker Gaston Ramirez to the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes saw their most recent bid rejected by the Boro, however, Ramirez has reportedly handed in a transfer request that would help aid his wishes to move on from the club.

Claudio Ranieri‘s side has also been forced to fend off CSL side Tianjin from poaching striker Islam Slimani, who is reportedly a heavy target from the east.

— The Red Devils have sold Sean Goss to Championship side Queens Park Rangers after the midfielder failed to make a first-team appearance for United since joining the club in 2012.

— Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday continue to the race to sign Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes, who was left out of his side’s matchday squad on Saturday in the FA Cup.

The 26-year-old has made just six appearances this season for the Boro after having scored on six occasions a season ago when the team made the jump to the PL.

Report: USMNT’s Arriola drawing transfer interest abroad, in MLS

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Paul Arriola’s motor was constantly running as the United States men’s national team claimed its sixth Gold Cup title, and it could drive him all the way from Club Tijuana to Europe or a prime spot on an MLS roster.

There’s a snag, though.

[ MORE: Everton wins Europa opener ]

Arriola is reportedly wanted by Real Salt Lake and clubs in both the Netherlands and Portugal, but the LA Galaxy has what Goal.com describes a “dubious homegrown player” claim on Arriola, who participated in a minimal of practices with the Galaxy when he was younger.

As you’ll see below, there isn’t much “homegrown” about it and, to its critics, it is peak MLS monopolized tomfoolery. Here’s how Goal describes it:

“He was already a U.S. youth national team player when he traveled the 120 miles from Chula Vista to take part in a handful of training sessions with the LA Galaxy academy and eventually the Galaxy first team.

“The Galaxy are believed to hold a homegrown player claim on Arriola, and would have the right of first refusal on making Arriola an offer if he comes to MLS. The Galaxy’s current salary-cap situation might not allow them to make a serious bid for Arriola.”

But… here’s how the Galaxy described his choosing to sign for TJ instead of a pro deal from LA in 2013:

“It’s a little disappointing,” Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday. “He went through our system, we offered him a contract and he decided to move on and go somewhere else. But that’s going to happen. It’s something that has happened before, and it’s something that will happen again.”

Arriola’s response in the same article? “I thank the Galaxy for giving me a wonderful opportunity to train with their first team and be a part of their first team which really taught me a lot.” That doesn’t read as much like he “went through their system.” He played in at least one U-18 game, debuting in October 2012, did more training with TJ in December 2012, and signed for the Mexican side in May 2013.

Should that qualify him as Homegrown?

https://www.transfermarkt.com/paul-arriola/leistungsdaten/spieler/189876

Did Arriola spent significant time with LA, or is it possible the Galaxy might reap rewards from having an already established youth national teamer to practice when he was a kid? Whether you’re okay with that or not, consider that it encourages clubs to pilfer rights without actually registering or training the player.

Not to mention there is no guarantee that playing in the Netherlands or Portugal will be better for his development than MLS. Benfica or Ajax and potential action in European tournaments? Maybe. NAC Breda or Tondela? Maybe not.

Nevermind the quagmire that is American youth soccer clubs’ not earning money from transfer fees, the Arriola drama seems baseless. We don’t know the Galaxy will hold the player hostage, but they would actually be depriving MLS of a talent, as LA would theoretically get nothing should TJ sell him to a European club.

In any event, check out Arriola’s use chart from Tijuana and you’ll see why he’s valued by Bruce Arena as well as his suitors. He’s a Swiss Army Knife. Here’s hoping Tinseltown doesn’t stop him from a proper next step (assuming he’s ready to leave Liga MX).