Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Changchun Yatai player accused of racially abusing Demba Ba

1 Comment

BEIJING (AP) Chinese Superleague team Shanghai Shenhua has accused an opposing player of racially abusing its Senegalese star forward Demba Ba during a match Saturday.

Shenhua coach Wu Jingui told reporters that a Changchun Yatai player used racially insulting language toward Ba during an altercation late in the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw. The Shanghai team later published a Twitter post demanding that the Chinese Football Association take serious disciplinary action against the Yatai player, Zhang Li.

[ MORE: 2018-19 Premier League previews]

The incident generated controversy on the Chinese internet, with fans calling for an immediate investigation.

A prominent Chinese sports blogger wrote on social media that Zhang allegedly shouted “You black” repeatedly at Ba.

Paulinho leaves Barca after one year to rejoin Guangzhou

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images
Leave a comment

He came, he saw, he conquered (La Liga and Copa del Rey), and now Paulinho is leaving Barcelona after just one season to return to the club from which he came, Guangzhou Evergrande.

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]

Paulinho’s move to Barcelona was already quite a curious one when it happened last summer: he was already 29 years old, had left Tottenham Hotspur two years earlier after an infamously poor spell in the Premier League, and was making (presumably) far more money playing in the Chinese Super League than he could just about anywhere else in the world. In defense of the transfer and coaching staffs, he proved a totally competent replacement-level player for a side that won two major trophies, at a cost of $47 million.

Of course, Paulinho would have wanted to showcase himself at a higher level ahead of the 2018 World Cup, with his place in the Brazil squad very much still up in the air fewer than 12 months ago. In a sense, it’s a deal that largely worked out for all parties involved.

[ MORE: Ranking World Cup semifinalists | Schedule for semis, final ]

Now, comes the truly strange — perhaps, unsavory — part: the transfer which Guangzhou announced on Sunday is a one-year loan deal with an already-agreed future fee for a permanent transfer. According to reports, that future fee will be considerably larger than the amount Barcelona paid last summer, for a player who will, in 12 months’ time, be two years older at 32.

Essentially, Barcelona will have rented the player for a season, and made a profited — perhaps in the neighborhood of $10 million — on the back-and-forth transaction, rather having paid a rental fee themselves.

Manuel Pellegrini takes the reins at West Ham United

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Martin Rickett/PA via AP
1 Comment

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

Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.