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Manuel Pellegrini takes the reins at West Ham United

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West Ham United was said to be chasing Rafa Benitez, and instead got a manager with more recent big time success.

Manuel Pellegrini is the new boss at West Ham, returning to the league which saw him guide Manchester City to a Premier League title and two League Cups.

[ MORE: Man Utd after pair of mids ]

The 64-year-old Chilean is well-traveled, and most recently managed Hebei China Fortune. He was released from his contract with the Chinese Super League side last week.

Pellegrini has also led Villarreal, Real Madrid, and Malaga since arriving from South America in 2004.

From WHUFC.com:

“I think that West Ham had a difficult season last season and I hope that next season we are going to play football that will delight the fans. I always play attacking football and we must try to reach important targets in the season.

“Every time you have a meeting you have feelings about whether it was a good meeting or a bad meeting and I had the meeting with him, just talking about football and talking about West Ham.  We agreed on a lot of things he wants for this Club in the way I think a football club must be managed, so we have a lot of common ideas.”

Pellegrini is missing more than a few elements to play the way he’d like to play, and his arrival could spell the end for long-time players like Mark Noble. It could also be a boon for Pablo Zabaleta as the former Man City pair is reunited in London.

West Ham has spent freely in recent years, and Pellegrini’s status could help it land a breed of player unavailable to Sam Allardyce, Slaven Bilic, and David Moyes.

Fellaini: Manchester United knows they erred not giving me a new deal

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Marouane Fellaini knows he’s about to get paid.

The 30-year-old midfielder tried to re-up with Manchester United last season, but couldn’t get a new deal heading into the final year of his contract.

Now, having further established himself as a go-to guy off the bench for Jose Mourinho, he knows his value has risen at Old Trafford and abroad.

[ MORE: Roma-Liverpool recap | Reds react ]

And he’s not about to take a pay cut, admitting he has no problem playing in China if it’s his best option. From Sky Sports:

“The entire staff is doing everything [so] I can stay,” he told Sport Voetbal Magazine. “Last year I went to the coach and I said that I wanted a new contract. I then had a second meeting, but I will not ask it 10 times. Afterwards I became important for the team… and a good player costs at least 50m euros. The club knows that they went wrong there.”

Fellaini said several clubs have interest in his services, but we wonder how much of factor regular playing time is for the Belgian.

Knee injuries have robbed him of significant playing time this season, but Fellaini’s hit the pitch each time he’s made the 18 for a Premier League match. He has four goals in 15 appearances, four of which were starts.

Fellaini also took a shot at Jamie Carragher in the interview, asking why the ex-Liverpool man can dare criticize his playing style given his off-field actions earlier this year.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Fabio Capello leaves Chinese club Jiangsu Suning

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NANJING, China (AP) Fabio Capello has left his post as head coach of Jiangsu Suning, the Chinese Super League club said Wednesday.

The 71-year-old Italian signed an 18-month contract with the Nanjing club in June 2017, helping the 2016 league runner-up to avoid relegation.

The departure of the former Milan, Real Madrid, Juventus and England coach comes just three games into the 2018 season in which Jiangsu has won one and lost two matches.

“After friendly negotiations between the two sides, the contract between Fabio Capello and Suning Football Club ended early and Mr. Capello no longer serves as the head coach of Jiangsu Suning,” the club said.

China media are reporting that Capello has been replaced by Cosmin Olaroiu, a Romanian coach who has extensive experience with Middle Eastern clubs.

Chinese Super League kicks off season Friday; Bakambu sets record

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At 6:35 a.m. ET Friday, the Chinese Super League will kick off its 15th season.

One team got a big signing over the line just in time. Beijing Guoan has signed Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu for an African transfer record of $90 million.

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Bakambu joins last season’s ninth place CSL team, bringing 67 goals from his previous four seasons. That includes 12 in 17 for Villarreal this season.

Guangzhou Evergrande won last season’s title by six points over Shanghai SiPG, with Tianjin Quanjian 10 points back of the champs.

What else is new in 2018?

— Dalian Yifang and Beijing Renhe were promoted from China League One, while Yanbian Funde and Liaoning FC were relegated.

Italian manager Fabio Cannavaro left last season’s third place finishers, Tianjin Quanjian, for the reigning champs Guangzhou Evergrande. He takes the place of Luiz Felipe Scolari. Ex-Fiorentina and Basel boss Paulo Sousa takes his place.

— Who are the marquee foreign addition?

  • Hebei China Fortune signed Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) and Hernanes.
  • Dalian Yifang added three: Jose Fonte, Yannick Carrasco, Nicolas Gaitan.
  • Beijing Guoan added Bakambu.
  • Jiangsu Suning signed Gabriel Palotta of Milan, Richmond Boakye.
  • Changchun Yatai signed Danish playmaker Lasse Vibe.
  • Guizhou Hengfeng brings Nikica Jelavic from Beijing Renhe
  • Beijing Renhe signed Augusto Fernandez from Atletico Madrid.
  • Tianjin Teda added Frank Acheampong from Anderlecht

— Who’s still there?

  • Odion Ighalo is at Changchun Yatai
  • Eran Zahavi plays for Guangzhou R&F
  • Renato Augusto and Jonathan Soriano play for Beijing Guoan, with Roger Schmidt the manager.
  • Gervinho and Ezequiel Lavezzi are with Hebei China Fortune, managed by Manuel Pellegrini.
  • Ricardo Vaz Te and Juan Cala play for Henan Jianye
  • Ramires is still with Jiangsu Suning, playing for Fabio Capello.
  • Papiss Cisse and Graziano Pelle play for Shandong Taishan
  • Fredy Guarin and Obafemi Martins suit up with Shanghai Shenhua
  • Hulk and Oscar play for Shanghai SiPG.
  • Axel Witsel, Alexandre Pato, and Anthony Modeste signed with Tianjin Quanjian
  • John Obi Mikel plays for Tianjin Teda.