Chinese Super League

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Report: Everton targeting former Porto, Fener boss Pereira

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Everton might be looking to the Chinese Super League for its next manager.

Vitor Pereira is the top target for the Merseyside set, report our partners at Sky Sports, as the Toffees begin life after Thursday’s firing of Marco Silva.

Pereira, 51, has been in management since 2002, leading Porto, Olympiacos, Fenerbahce, and current club Shanghai SIPG amongst others.

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He’s won titles in Greece, China, Saudi Arabia, and his native Portugal, but there are suitors beyond the Toffees’ reported interest.

The 51-year-old is currently one of the highest paid coaches in the world and was recently offered the job of managing the Chinese national team.

It is understood he is currently considering a new contract offer from Shanghai, which will guarantee he earns £30m a year.

Duncan Ferguson is the interim boss as Everton hosts Chelsea this weekend.

Liverpool’s Lallana a reported MLS target

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Adam Lallana could be a hit in Major League Soccer, couldn’t he?

The 31-year-old Liverpool man is out of contract this summer, and The Telegraph said clubs in China and MLS are hoping to lure him to their shores.

Lallana has scored 22 times with 21 assists in 164 appearances for Liverpool following his remarkable tenure at Southampton, and picked up his 34th cap in March 2018.

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He’s been hit by injuries over the past two seasons, and the report says that Jurgen Klopp would like to talk the Englishmen into a new deal at Anfield.

Lallana’s not built the same as Wayne Rooney nor is he as loud a presence, but he’s much younger than the latter was when he arrived in MLS. It’s reasonable to expect that Lallana can have a similar on-field impact.

Sporting KC’s Johnny Russell is younger than Lallana but has been a double-digit threat in goals and assists at the MLS level. We suspect Lallana’s tenure here would be somewhere between the two aforementioned imports.

It’s tricky to project, as MLS has seen few players of Lallana’s rep at his age. Premier League players have either come much later in their careers or with a much lower acumen. And that’s why we imagine the veteran may find a new home in England (or even return to Saints).

Watford re-hires Quique Sanchez Flores

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Quique Sanchez Flores is heading back to Vicarage Road, taking over for fired Javi Gracia at Watford.

Flores managed the Hornets from 2015-16, and has since led Espanyol and Shanghai Shenhua.

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The Hornets have just one point from four matches to start the Premier League season, having drawn Newcastle United 1-1 in Week Four. Their only win came against Coventry City in the League Cup.

The club announced that Gracia was fired earlier Saturday, and that a new hiring was imminent. Gracia led Watford to the FA Cup Final and was the first manager in nine to manage the Hornets for more than 50 matches (51).

Flores, 54, won 16 matches, drew nine, and lost 19 in a single season at Watford. The Hornets finished 13, eight points clear of the drop zone, drew Chelsea twice and beat Liverpool 3-0 amongst their more memorable results of the season.

Watford also made it to the semifinals of the FA Cup, knocking Newcastle United and Arsenal out of the competition.

Reports: Bojan, Ola Kamara up for MLS moves

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DC United is making a huge push for the Eastern Conference and beyond.

The Washington Post’s Steven Goff says the Black-and-Red may be bringing Ola Kamara back to Major League Soccer from the Chinese Super League.

When it comes to MLS, Kamara has simply scored goals. The 29-year-old has bagged 48 in three MLS seasons spent between Columbus and the LA Galaxy.

Goff reports that the transfer fee to bring Kamara back Stateside is $2.5 million, and that DC also has to send a quarter of a million dollars to Colorado for the top spot in the allocation order.

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Multiple reports out of Quebec say that the Impact are looking to make a huge splash in attack, again, adding Bojan Krkic to the squad.

Bojan, 28, is four seasons removed from his 7-goal Premier League campaign with Stoke City.

He’s had trouble firing since that point, with just six goals between three seasons spent between Mainz, Alaves, and Stoke.

Seeing what Carles Gil has done with New England, though, you cannot help but think Bojan has the skill set to light the East on fire.

Both teams are amongst eight still very much in the race to finish first in the East. Kamara to DC is a near-automatic hit. If Montreal can clear room to add Bojan to an attack with Saphir Taidir, Orji Okwonkwo, and the returning Ignacio Piatti, then look out for the Impact.

Bale’s agent: Real Madrid called off China transfer

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Gareth Bale‘s agent has been talking about the collapse of Bale’s proposed move from Real Madrid to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning.

Bale, 30, was set to earn $1.23 million per week in China but various reports have spread the blame for the deal not happening, as the move was called off on Sunday.

Sources close to the club said that Bale and his family want to stay in Europe so told his agent to look for other deals, while other reports suggest that Real’s president, Florentino Perez, and the board demanded a transfer fee for Bale at the last minute.

“Any stories suggesting that Gareth or his family were the reason the deal did not take place are completely false,” Barnett told Sky Sports.

He also told ESPN that Real Madrid “changed their minds” and that reports Bale didn’t didn’t want to go to China were “fake news” and nothing else.

Hmmm.

If Real did indeed change their minds at the last moment, this is a big, big problem for Zinedine Zidane.

His Real team have already lost talented attacker Marco Asensio for the season after he ruptured his ACL during the preseason win against Arsenal last week, while they were also battered 7-3 by crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid in New Jersey on Friday.

This has been a pretty horrible first preseason back in charge at Real for Zidane with injuries mounting up, and his failure to move on Bale after saying it was “best for everyone” if he left this summer is now undermining him. Especially if Real’s board didn’t want to sanction the move for the Welsh superstar as Jiangsu Suning weren’t going to pay a fee for him. They knew that not getting rid of Bale will make Zidane look quite silly.

What does this mean for Bale’s future?

The Chinese Super League transfer window shuts on Wednesday, so a move there now seems dead in the water. European clubs have yet to offer a permanent deal for him. Real have ruled out sending him on loan for the season.

Bale does have one option. He has three years left on his current contract and if things continue to go the way they are, Real could be in serious trouble in the opening months of the season and Zidane may be fired by December. That won’t change the fact that Bale is booed by his own fans and that he’s a little alienated from the rest of the squad, but Zidane being fired would give him a fresh start, of sorts.

This is now a massive power struggle and if Bale doesn’t want to leave, he probably won’t. That will cause Zidane a massive headache and further underline that the players have all the power, no matter which club you’re at.

A Premier League club could offer Bale an escape route with a loan deal in the final days of the summer window, but if Real weren’t keen to lose him to China for nothing, surely they won’t sanction sending him to the PL and subsidize some of his $620,000 per week wage in the process.