Maurizio Sarri has conceded there is a problem with his system at Chelsea but insists he is planning on staying at the club for "a long time". 

Emmanuel Boateng has joined Dalian Yifang from Levante for a reported fee of €11million.

The deal for the 22-year-old Ghana international was confirmed by Levante in a statement on Wednesday.

"Levante would like to thank Emmanuel Boateng for his work and commitment during all this time and wish him luck for his new professional period," the release read.

Boateng scored seven times in 41 LaLiga appearances, most notably hitting a hat-trick in a blistering performance against Barcelona last May, where a 5-4 victory for Levante ended the Catalans' hopes of an unbeaten league season.

He follows Napoli great Marek Hamsik in moving to Dalian Yifang during this transfer window.

Choi Kang-hee's side, who finished 11th in the Chinese Super League last season, begin their 2019 campaign against Henan Jianye on March 3.

Lucas Silva believes he still has a chance of succeeding at Real Madrid, two years after leaving Europe to return to Cruzeiro.

The midfielder was described as "the future of the club" by then-coach Carlo Ancelotti after moving to the Santiago Bernabeu from Cruzeiro in a reported €14million deal in January 2015.

The Brazilian was loaned to Marseille after managing just 425 minutes for the Madrid first team, but his European career was halted when a mild arrhythmia in his heart was discovered in July 2016.

After clarifying that he would not be retiring from football, Silva went back to Brazil in January 2017 and has rejuvenated his career with his old club, winning the Copa do Brasil last October.

However, the 26-year-old is still in contact with Madrid directors and has not given up on playing for the European champions again, even though he admits considering retirement after learning of his heart problem.

"A lot of things went through my head at the time; one of them was that I'd have to stop playing so young," he told Marca. "But after the tests the doctor said it was just a scare and I could be calm and play again, which made me happy and motivated to resume my career.

"I left Europe thinking about resuming my career and having more consistency and rhythm in matches. I didn't achieve it in my first season, but last year was very good because I played regularly and I was winning titles. It was a very good year. The most important thing is that I'm back playing at a high level.

"I had a little problem, but I had examinations and everything is fine; it was just a scare. I'm totally fit and can play at the highest level.

"I have contact with the [Madrid] board, but you end up distancing yourself and that's normal. I also still have a relationship with some players, but I have to thank the club for everything and their understanding. They were always concerned about my career and wanting me to play. They have taken good care of me.

"I have a contract with Cruzeiro until the middle of the year and I intend to fulfil it. From there, we'll have to see. I dream of playing in Europe again, but I feel happy and at home with Cruzeiro.

"When I arrived I trained well, started to play and even started in the Champions League, played well and we won. I am motivated and want to play at a high level and win titles. Without a doubt I think I have the option of returning to Madrid again."

James Rodriguez has suggested he would be happy to return to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The Colombia international's two-year loan with the Bundesliga champions ends in June and Bayern are yet to take up their option to sign him permanently.

James' future has been the subject of speculation during what has proved to be a more difficult second season in Germany under Niko Kovac.

The 27-year-old insists his focus is on Bayern's objectives this term, but concedes Madrid is still very much his home.

"In Madrid, I have everything such as my house and people who love me," he told Cadena Cope's El Partidazo and Cadena SER's El Larguero.

"We will have to see what happens, but at the moment I have a contract with Bayern Munich. I just want to finish the season and we'll see what happens.

"I keep in touch with some Real Madrid players."

James was speaking after playing in Bayern's 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield.

Lautaro Martinez said he hopes Mauro Icardi returns soon as he lent his support to the former Inter captain.

Icardi's future at Inter is uncertain after he was stripped of the captaincy last week and replaced by goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

The 26-year-old, who has been linked with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona, was absent for the Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna and the Serie A victory over Sampdoria.

Icardi is reportedly set to undergo tests to determine the extent of his apparent injuries and fellow Argentinian Martinez said he and his team-mates are supportive of the forward.

"Today [Tuesday] was his birthday, we said goodbye and congratulated him, he was happy to be with us," Martinez told Sky Sport Italia.

"We will continue to support him, as his future will depend exclusively on his decision and who manages it: not by us team-mates.

"For us he is a very important player. We hope to have him back soon."

Icardi has not played since losing the armband but prior to that, he went seven Serie A matches without a goal.

Arsene Wenger has suggested Aaron Ramsey would still be an Arsenal player next season if he was in charge of the Premier League club.

Juventus confirmed earlier this month that they had agreed a deal to sign Wales midfielder Ramsey at the end his contract in June, ending an 11-year association with the Gunners.

Unai Emery replaced Wenger after more than 21-and-a-half years at the helm for the start of this season and Ramsey had often been deployed as a substitute under the ex-Sevilla boss.

The 28-year-old's switch to Juve was long mooted but, speaking at the Laureus World Sport Awards – where he received a lifetime achievement prize – Wenger claimed there had been a change of heart after his own Emirates Stadium departure.

"In the case of Ramsey, it's not a question at all of [running down his] contract, not at all," he said.

"I think it was not a financial situation and not a desire of the player to leave. But, as long as I was there, I was convinced that the player would stay.

"What happened after, I don't know. It was not a financial problem, not a desire to leave problem."

Ramsey will reportedly be handsomely remunerated for his services in wage terms, having joined Juventus on a free transfer.

Wenger feels this factor, along with spiralling transfer prices for elite players, is increasingly influential and gives an incentive for players not to commit to contract extensions ahead of time.

"It's very simple: the transfer market is so big now that they think 'if I run out my contract, I will not get the whole [outlay of the] transfer [but] I get the big part of it'," he explained, having seen star names Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil enter the closing stages of their Arsenal deals on his watch.

"Adding that to inflation means that the financial incentive for a player is to run out his contract. You'll see that more and more, because a good player today [costs] between 50 and 100 million.

"So, the player will not be bought for that price. His interest is to run the contract down and say to the club who wants to buy him 'okay, I don't want 50 [million], but I want a part of it'."

Eden Hazard should leave Chelsea and would become a better player at Real Madrid, according to former Belgium international Emile Mpenza.

Hazard's contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of next season and this month he said he has made a decision about his future, though he did not offer any further information.

The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a switch to Madrid, a path trodden by former Chelsea team-mate and Belgium colleague Thibaut Courtois in the close season.

Ex-Manchester City striker Mpenza believes heading to the Santiago Bernabeu would enable Hazard to take his career to new heights.

"I think he wrote a page in Chelsea's history book and now he has to try to go somewhere else," Mpenza told Omnisport.

"A player always wants to move to another team to improve. Real Madrid won three Champions Leagues [in a row], and Hazard hasn't won it with Chelsea.

"If he wants to improve, he can go to Madrid to become stronger."

Mpenza warned City not to underestimate Schalke - another of his former teams - in the Champions League last-16 tie, the first leg of which takes place at the Veltins-Arena on Wednesday.

However, he believes Pep Guardiola's side are the favourites to retain the Premier League title due to Liverpool's history of struggling against teams beneath them in the table.

"We always try to go through, but we failed. This year it's a very tough game against Schalke. People are saying that we are favourites, but it's football, we never know," said Mpenza.

On the domestic battle with City and Liverpool locked on 65 points at the summit, though the Reds have a game in hand, he added: "It's possible [City will win the league]. Now they're tied with Liverpool, but Liverpool are always in the race until the end for the past two-three years.

"And I think City could win again this year because they have a lot of experience … and Liverpool has been losing games they shouldn't lose in the final stretch in the past.

"So I think City has an advantage when it comes to winning the league."

Barcelona are beginning to plan for a future without Lionel Messi, although club president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes he will sign another contract.

The 31-year-old's current deal will expire after the 2020-21 campaign and the Barca captain has previously said he would like to return to his homeland with boyhood club Newell's Old Boys.

Messi started his career at Newell's but moved to Barcelona as a teenager, developing into an all-time great of the game with nine LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns.

Bartomeu remains hopeful Messi can be persuaded to extend his time at the club even further but accepts Barca must have a plan for when the Argentina international moves on.

"We are already thinking about it, but it is a future still far away," Bartomeu said to Le Figaro. "He is a young player, he is 31-years-old, his performance is very good, he plays even better and better, I do not know how he does it!

"He has a contract for two seasons, but I think he will extend his career beyond 2021. But you have to think of young talent. When Messi no longer plays, no one can replace him. It's impossible.

"Behind Messi, there is nobody. Neither in Barca nor anywhere else. The coach of the day will have to think of how the team will play [but] the idea of Barca football will remain the same."

Barcelona have been strongly linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot, but Bartomeu denied there has been contact between the LaLiga leaders and the France international.

Rabiot is expected to leave PSG at the end of the season, when his deal expires, with the midfielder not in contention for selection by coach Thomas Tuchel due to the contract stand-off.

"The planning of the club for the next seasons is not yet launched, we will start in March," Bartomeu said of links to Rabiot.

"In addition, Barca always puts the priority on the players of our B team. If we do not find them, we will look for them outside.

"The only sure thing about Rabiot is that on June 30 he will be free."

One player who will be lining up for Barca next season is the Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, with the Netherlands international adding to Ernesto Valverde's midfield options after agreeing a move worth €86million.

"When a player arrives at Barca, he knows he will be competing. It's a challenge for them, some accept it, others do not," Bartomeu continued. "When we go looking for a talent outside, we are sometimes told: 'I want to play, not be on the bench.'

"He is a player who will mark a time of European football. He has an incredible talent and an understanding of football which is that of Barca... and the same as that of Ajax."

Inter president Steven Zhang insisted there is "no chance" Mauro Icardi will join Serie A champions Juventus.

Juve chief football officer Fabio Paratici revealed the league leaders made an enquiry for Icardi amid uncertainty over the Inter star's future.

Icardi was stripped of the captaincy last week, while he missed the Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna and Serie A victory over Sampdoria.

The 26-year-old's agent and wife Wanda Nara said Icardi has no plans to leave Inter.

Asked about the possibility of Icardi swapping Inter for Juve, Zhang said: "In football you can never say never to business with Juventus.

"However, in this specific case there's no chance that Icardi will go to Juventus. We talked a lot last week, we want to say enough about this story.

"We're negotiating a renewal with Inter, but our philosophy is that the group is always greater than the individual.

"Our market campaign next summer will be better than the last one."

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta, who left Juve in September, described Paratici's comments as "inappropriate".

"We're not going to sell Icardi," Marotta told Rai Sport. "We believe he's a great player who's done well for Inter and who will do well in the future.

"As for what Paratici said, I think the same answer applies to [Juve star Paulo] Dybala: we'll see what he does in June. What Paratici said was inappropriate."

Former Manchester United winger Nani has joined Orlando City on a three-year deal, the MLS outfit announced on Monday.

Portugal international Nani arrives in Orlando as a designated player on a free transfer from Portuguese side Sporting CP.

The 32-year-old, who won four Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at United, only re-joined boyhood club Sporting for a third spell in July.

"This is an exciting day for our organisation," said Orlando executive vice-president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi. "Nani brings tremendous experience to our roster.

"He's a dynamic winger with quality abilities to move and cross the ball, impact games and lead the offensive play."

Nani has struggled to settle since leaving United in 2015, spending time at Sporting, Turkish giants Fenerbahce, LaLiga side Valencia and Serie A outfit Lazio.

The veteran has amassed 112 international appearances for Portugal, while he was part of the nation's triumphant Euro 2016 campaign.

Nani will add some star quality to Orlando, who have not reached the MLS playoffs since joining the league in 2015, after Kaka's departure in 2017.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Liverpool were interested in signing Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho when he was at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions would not sell to the Reds.

Sancho left City for the Bundesliga in August 2017 and has been a revelation in Germany, scoring seven goals and setting up another nine in 22 league matches this season.

The 18-year-old earned his first senior England caps towards the end of last year and already looks as though he is set to become a mainstay, such is the talent he has shown early in his career.

Sancho arguably would not be in such a position had he stayed at City, however, as he decided to leave in search of greater exposure to first-team football.

Had things gone differently, he could have even ended up at Anfield.

"Buying English players is a smart idea because we would never have a chance to get Sancho," Klopp told reporters on Monday ahead of Liverpool's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

"We are not blind. We saw him [Sancho], we liked him and then we think, 'Can we get him?'

"No, because English clubs don't sell to other English clubs. I don't know exactly what the reason is for that, but they don't do it."

Eager to not miss out on another English talent after seeing Sancho go to Dortmund, Bayern have made no secret of their desire to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea.

Some have suggested Bundesliga clubs' interest in young English players is a consequence of a perceived lack of talented German youth players, though Klopp is unconvinced.

"There is no dip," he said. "Six or seven years ago you had all these boys coming up – Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels – and it was clear when they became Under-21 European champions it would be a generation of proper quality.

"England now has that situation. It is like a wave with one country a little bit up and another country down. Now they can go to Germany, which is a wonderful league.

"I saw the Dortmund game against Tottenham and it was a completely open game in the first half. I don't see German football in a bad situation.

"It is a normal situation as well, a bit like Bayern. They have been unbelievably successful and now the next generation has to come up.

"That will happen again. The Bundesliga is a fantastic league and everything will be fine for them, but at the moment I am in the Premier League and more interested in what we have to do here."

Cardiff City have been making statements suggesting they will be trying to get out of their agreement to play Ligue 1 outfit Nantes, 15 million for Emiliano Sala, who died tragically in a plane accident on his way to his new club.
Do Cardiff have a point, or are they displaying bad form?

Juventus have made an enquiry to Inter to learn whether Mauro Icardi would be interested in a move, chief football officer Fabio Paratici has confirmed.

Icardi's future has been thrown into doubt after he was stripped of the Inter captaincy last week.

Wanda Nara, his wife and agent, insisted on Sunday that the Argentina striker does not want to leave but there are suggestions the club could look to sell before next season.

Paratici says Juve have informed Inter of their possible interest but has stressed this is relatively normal practice for the club.

"We asked for information," he told Radio Rai. "We wanted to know what Icardi thinks about playing for Juve.

"What we did was to inform them [Inter] that, if Icardi were to change club, Juve could be interested. These are things all clubs do with a lot of players.

"There has been no contact lately with Mrs Icardi. He's an Inter player and we have an important few months ahead."

Paratici also appeared to confirm Juve's interest in rising Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo, although he says the 19-year-old is one of many promising players they are monitoring.

"Very good young players, we are following them," he said when asked about Zaniolo, as well as Federico Chiesa, Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Barella.

"The list I wrote down was of players who it's pretty easy to tell are talented. It could have been put together by me or anyone who is even a little interested in football."

It has also been reported that Juve would consider allowing Paulo Dybala to leave as part of a deal to bring in either Mohamed Salah from Liverpool or Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Paratici has dismissed the speculation, saying the Serie A leaders have already done good business by agreeing pre-contract terms with Aaron Ramsey, who will join from Arsenal on July 1.

"At this moment, it's all fantasy football," he said. "It's only February, so nobody knows what could happen in June. We are proud to have brought Aaron Ramsey to Juve, as he is a great signing."

Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti said Arsenal loanee and goalkeeper David Ospina will stay at the Serie A club next season.

Ospina is on loan from Premier League side Arsenal but the Colombia international revealed a move to South America could be a "possibility" after the return of Alex Meret, though he was in the XI for Sunday's goalless draw against Torino.

The 30-year-old Ospina has made 11 Serie A appearances this term since arriving on a season-long loan deal, which includes a clause for a permanent transfer depending on the number of games played.

Discussing Ospina post-match, Ancelotti told reporters: "Ospina was meant to play on Thursday in the Europa League, but wasn't feeling up to it, so I switched things around and used him [against Torino] instead.

"Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, regardless of how many games he plays."

Napoli signed Ospina on loan at the start of the season after Meret broke his arm just six days following his €22million arrival from Udinese.

Ospina is third in the pecking order at Arsenal, where Bernd Leno has established himself as the Gunners' first choice ahead of Petr Cech, who will retire at the end of the campaign.

It was a frustrating outing for Ancelotti's Napoli against Torino, who managed to hold on for a share of the spoils.

Napoli attempted 26 shots without finding the back of the net as they slipped 13 points behind Serie A leaders and reigning champions Juventus.

"From what we see on the pitch, from a mental point of view, the team looks very motivated, very focused," Ancelotti said. "We play very well, but we are not able to score the goals that we should score. In a match like this you are supposed to win for the way you performed. But if we didn't win, we can't put the blame on anyone else but ourselves, because in two matches [against Fiorentina and Torino] we had 18 chances and we didn't score a single goal."

Ancelotti added: "It is a bit funny the fact that we find ourselves here complaining about a draw when the team performed very well. The team performed well in Florence, they did very well tonight. We should have had six points [from these two matches], we only have two instead. We can't say that we were unlucky. No, it's our fault and our fault only. And that's it."

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta insisted the club have never doubted Mauro Icardi's commitment or professionalism.

Icardi was stripped of the captaincy amid uncertainty over his future following contract negotiations which have proved unsuccessful so far, while he was absent for the Europa League fixture against Rapid Vienna and Sunday's Serie A win against Sampdoria.

The 25-year-old striker, whose current deal does not expire until 2021 and who has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United, watched from the stands as Inter defeated former team Sampdoria 2-1.

With the situation dominating headlines in Italy, Marotta called Mediaset program 'Tiki Taka' to speak to Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara - who said the Argentina international has no plans to leave.

"We want to relax the situation, because the decision was made as we've said because the head of a family at times has to make some decisions to help the children grow," said Marotta.

"Mauro is 25 years old, he has a road ahead of him and experience to earn. I tried explaining it personally, as did the coach. I just wanted to reassure Wanda, as I was sad to see her cry, but wanted to make clear what we do is for the good of Inter, of Mauro, of the fans who make so many sacrifices for this club.

"I won't get into the reasons here, but it was right to make this decision. Nothing is compromised.

"I wish to clarify we have never doubted the player's commitment or professionalism. We'll meet soon to discuss this issue, if she wants, but we have already agreed an appointment to present a new contract proposal.

"Again, they are free to accept or reject the offer. Nothing is compromised. Forza Inter."

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