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."

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique suggested Real Madrid are hypocritical to complain about refereeing controversy after benefitting from several contentious calls against Atletico Madrid.

Madrid were angered by officiating in Sunday's basketball Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, as they believe disputed decisions cost them victory.

Officials used only two of the 11 available angles to review a pair of late incidents, as Madrid's Jeffery Taylor was denied a call close at the net despite appearing to receive contact to his arm, before Anthony Randolph was adjudged to have unfairly obstructed Barca's Anthony Tomic in the last second to effectively hand the Catalans a 94-93 win.

Madrid president Florentino Perez is reported to have threatened to withdraw the team from the Copa next year in response, while the club slammed the decisions in a statement before posting video footage of the controversial moments on Twitter.

But Pique suggested they have short memories, as Madrid's football team was helped by some fiercely debated officiating in the 3-1 derby triumph at Atletico Madrid on February 9.

Vinicius Jr was awarded a penalty when the initial foul appeared to take place outside the area, while Atleti striker Alvaro Morata had no joy from seemingly strong VAR reviews of a second-half goal and penalty appeal.

"It [Madrid complaining about referees] happens in basketball and in football," Pique told reporters.

"Then they go to the Wanda Metropolitano and they're quiet for a while after what happened there.

"It's a good thing they don't do other sports, like handball or hockey, as they'd complain about those too."

Ashley Young has hailed Paul Pogba as a world-class midfielder but insists Manchester United's resurgence is not only down to the France star.

Pogba has thrived since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as caretaker manager from Jose Mourinho and produced another match-winning display on Monday, setting up Ander Herrera's opener before scoring the second in the 2-0 FA Cup win at Chelsea.

The former Juventus man has been directly involved in 15 goals in just 12 appearances under Solskjaer, helping United to 11 wins and a draw in 13 matches across all competitions.

Young, though, says the whole squad is pulling together to help United progress.

"He's a world-class player - you don't win a World Cup for no reason," he said. "But it's not just about Paul, it's a team game and squad game.

"Everyone that started the game, everyone on the bench, the boys that came on [at Chelsea] were fantastic. Scott [McTominay] was only on for a few minutes but he did his job and played his part. When Andreas [Pereira] and Alexis [Sanchez] came on, they were fantastic as well.

"It's all competition for places and it keeps everyone on their toes. Every day in training you've got to be giving 100 per cent and everyone wants to be in the team. When you're winning games, everyone wants to be in that team and part of it."

United's win at Stamford Bridge came six days on from a 2-0 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, their first loss since Solskjaer took charge.

Young was delighted with the response to that setback, especially with a Premier League match at home to Liverpool to come on Sunday, and was particularly pleased with the way they were able to exploit Chelsea's vulnerabilities.

"We knew Chelsea's weaknesses and we knew how we wanted to play the game and I think we did that superbly well from the start until the end," he said. It was magnificent and I think we had another gear to go. That says a lot about us bouncing back from midweek and getting a result. 

"The first 10, 15 minutes were a bit shaky but after that we stamped our authority on the game, got the first goal and we were on the front foot from then on.

"We scored two unbelievable goals. We had to defend as a team. We have been doing that: attacking as a team, defending as a team.

"It gives us all massive belief. Obviously, you will get confidence from winning games and that's exactly what we have done. We beat Tottenham away, and Arsenal away and now Chelsea away. We knew it would be tough, we had to be on the front foot, and we knew we would have to defend but it's a fantastic result for us."

United were draw away to Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-final, while Manchester City were pitted against Championship side Swansea City, and Young admits he had been expecting to face Pep Guardiola's side.

"I was surprised we didn't get City," he added. "That's what we were looking for, but you have to beat every team in the competition and that's what we'll do: go down there to beat them and get through to the semi-final."

Alvaro Morata does not think it a major problem that some Atletico Madrid fans were against his return to the club, insisting that "not even Jesus Christ pleased everybody".

The striker joined Diego Simeone's side in January on an 18-month loan deal from Chelsea, where he had struggled following a reported £57million switch from Real Madrid.

It was his allegiances with the European champions that upset a number of Atleti supporters, while others were frustrated that a deal for Morata was pursued instead of giving youngsters such as Borja Garces the chance to impress in the first team.

There were chants to that effect heard in the home LaLiga match against Getafe just prior to Morata's arrival, but the player says he has been made to feel welcome by the club.

"You can't please everyone on every side. Not even Jesus Christ pleased everybody," he told AS.

"I'm very happy with my team-mates, with the club. They have received me very well and that's something to appreciate.

"I want to show why I'm here and to continue growing.

"The truth is I haven't needed to adapt much, because there are people here who I knew.

"Now, I just want to win. I can't stop thinking about winning. It's difficult, but we want to do it."

Morata spent the early part of his youth career with Atletico before joining Madrid after a year spent at Getafe.

Opportunities in the Madrid first team were difficult to come by and he left for Juventus in 2014 before returning to the Santiago Bernabeu after two successful seasons in Italy.

Morata says it was during the 2015-16 campaign that he first spoke with Atleti boss Simeone and promised he would join the club in the future.

"To tell the truth, the first contact was three and a half years ago," said the 26-year-old. "I gave him my word that as soon as I could, I would come.

"It wasn't possible before. It wasn't up to me. I gave my word."

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.

Toronto FC's CONCACAF Champions League hopes were left in tatters following their 4-0 first-leg demolition at the hands of Independiente in the last 16.

Last year's finalists Toronto missed a penalty and conceded three goals in the second half as the MLS team were left with a mountain to climb on Tuesday.

Toronto were playing their first competitive match since selling star attacker Sebastian Giovinco to Saudi Arabian giants Al-Hilal last month - United States international Jozy Altidore's future is also uncertain.

And Toronto were put the sword by Panamanian hosts Independiente, who opened the scoring via Abdiel Ayarza in the ninth minute.

Toronto debutant Terrence Boyd, who arrived from Darmstadt in Germany, had the chance to equalise before half-time but he sent his penalty over the crossbar.

Independiente punished the visitors after the break, with Omar Browne and Romeesh Ivey's brace putting Toronto on the verge of elimination.

Fellow MLS side Houston Dynamo, however, were far more successful after edging Guatemalan hosts Guastatoya 1-0 in the opening leg.

Veteran captain DaMarcus Beasley's strike gave Houston a priceless away goal and dream start in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Deportivo Saprissa defeated Tigres UANL 1-0.

Cavalier registered yet another win over Waterhouse courtesy of a goal from Nicholas Hamilton.  Waterhouse have not beaten Cavalier in four years.

Two-time finalists, Jamaica, will know in about two weeks whether the country will host a match in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

As they intensify their preparations for this summer’s FIFA Women's World Cup, Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz host Chile for two matches on February 28 and March 3.

Romelu Lukaku is willing to adapt to different roles in order to win back his place as a regular starter at Manchester United.

Following his £75million arrival from Everton last season, Belgium international Lukaku was one of the first names on Jose Mourinho's team sheet, operating as a lone front man.

The 25-year-old's form dwindled this term and he has often operated as a substitute since caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho at the helm, the Norwegian opting for a more expansive attacking approach that has got the best out of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, among others.

But injuries suffered by Martial and Jesse Lingard during last week's Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain opened the door to Lukaku, who operated in a front two alongside Rashford as United dispatched Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to progress to the FA Cup quarter finals.

The midfield diamond deployed by Solskjaer placed an onus on Rashford and Lukaku to rove into wide areas – a task the hulking forward has previously excelled in for Everton and Belgium.

Asked what Solskjaer brings to United after a stunning run of 11 wins from 13 games, Lukaku simply told reporters: "We score more goals.

"I can play however the manager needs me to, if it's alone or with Marcus behind me or out wide. As long as the manager needs me, I'm ready to play.

"You just have to be professional and give it our best when your chance comes. That's my mindset and I'm just taking it a day at a time."

One United player whose stock is unquestionably on the rise is centre-back Victor Lindelof.

The Sweden international struggled in his debut season in the Premier League last time around but is an increasingly assured presence at the heart of the defence and impressed again versus Chelsea.

"I think he has adapted really well," Lukaku said. "Last year was a bit of an introduction year but now he's really settled in. He's improving a lot and hopefully he can keep going."

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has revealed a proposal to convert the Supercopa de Espana from a one-off game into a mini-tournament.

Last year's Supercopa de Espana was played in Morocco and classified as a friendly, much to the confusion of Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde, whose side beat Sevilla 2-1.

Sevilla also shared objections to the change in format from a two-legged affair with home and away matches to a one-off game played in Tangier.

The Supercopa de Espana traditionally pits the winners of the Copa del Rey against the LaLiga champions at the start of the season, but another switch could be on the way.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales announced on Tuesday he wants to expand the Supercopa to four teams - LaLiga's top two and both Copa del Rey finalists.

"The next Supercopa will be played out of Spain again," Rubiales said. "And I will raise to the assembly a new format of a final four, where the finalists of the Copa del Rey and the top two of the league can meet."

Rubiales previously voiced his opposition to a proposal to play LaLiga matches outside of Spain, with Girona v Barcelona initially planned to take place in Miami before the latter pulled out.

 

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."

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.

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