Chinese Club Threatens Legal Action Over Iniesta Speculation

FILE PHOTO Barcelona Captain, Andres Iniesta


Tianjin Quanjian have threatened legal action in a bid to stamp out speculation that Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta will soon be joining the Chinese club.

The 33-year-old Spain midfielder has been linked with a summer move to the Chinese Super League (CSL), which has attracted a number of big-name foreign players.

Veteran defender Javier Mascherano left Barcelona in January for Hebei China Fortune, joining the likes of the Brazilians Hulk and Oscar in the CSL.

But Tianjin moved to quash the rumours about Iniesta, issuing a statement saying: “Our club solemnly state that such news reports are false.”

“For all false reports about our club, we reserve the right to solve it through legal means,” the statement said.

Barcelona daily Sport said last month that Iniesta, who will be 34 in May, had been offered 35 million euros a season to switch to Tianjin.

Iniesta, the scorer of the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final, signed a “lifetime contract” with Barca last October.

However, Barca’s January signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in a 160-million-euro deal suggested they are planning for a future without the veteran.

Ambitious Tianjin already have Brazilian forward Pato and Belgian international midfielder Axel Witsel on their books.

They were previously linked with striker Diego Costa, who is now at Atletico Madrid after leaving Chelsea.


Why Mikel Obi Could Leave Chelsea In January

mikel obiChelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi has hinted he may leave the Premier League club in the January transfer window.

Mikel has been with Chelsea for 10 years and is their second longest-serving player behind captain John Terry but is yet to play this season.

Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2006 for a fee of 16 million pounds, the Super Eagles captain has won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.

Asides the need for playing time having failed to play a single minute in the current season, there are also rumours that he has been offered an incredible $212,000-a-week deal by Chinese club, Shanghai SIPG.

Yaya Toure’s glorious two-goal return to Manchester City line-up from a similar situation could be a reason for Mikel to consider persevering but Chelsea’s great form lately means there is no weak link in the Chelsea midfield for Mikel to benefit.

While these seem to justify a move away, Mikel however, has promised to do his best when called upon to play for the London based club.

“I have never been a guy who made excuses in life, I never shy away from my responsibilities,” Mikel told BBC Sport.

“I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. I have been professional, I train and work everyday with the team and I hope one day I will get to play.

“I have written my name in the history of this football club and I have won loads of trophies. I have played close to 400 game and have no single regret.

“I still want to win more and help the team. Players move on in life but I am relaxed about January. I will speak to the club find the best solution.”

Obafemi Martins Joins Chinese Club Shanghai Shenhua

Obafemi MartinsNigerian striker Obafemi Martins has moved to China.

The 31-year-old joined Shanghai Shenhua in a multi-million dollar deal from Seattle Sounders.

Obafemi Martins joined the MLS club from Spanish side Levante in March 2013 scoring 43 goals and adding 23 assists in 84 appearances.

Martins was named the Sounders’ team MVP each of the past two seasons and was the runner-up for the league MVP in 2014.

The Sounders will open the MLS regular season at home against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, March 6.

He scored 18 goals in 41 international appearances for the Super Eagles and was voted Africa’s most promising talent in 2003 and 2004.