Former Manchester United and Juventus striker Carlos Tevez agreed a move back to boyhood club Boca Juniors on Friday after 12 months in Chinese football with Shanghai Shenhua, the Argentine team announced.
“Tevez is coming home! He joined the team today and is already training with his teammates,” Boca said on its various social media accounts alongside a photo of the player working out in a gym.
It will be the 33-year-old’s third spell at Boca Juniors.
He was pictured in the gym wearing a Boca team shirt although the club did not reveal the value of the transfer.
Argentine news agency Telam had said earlier that Tevez had already negotiated what jersey he will wear at the Buenos Aires club – number 32.
Tevez joined Shenhua in January last year on an estimated 730,000 euros a week salary, making him one of the world’s highest-paid players.
A spokesman for Shenhua confirmed to AFP Friday that the club had been in talks with the globetrotting Argentine to end his contract.
Tevez scored only four goals in the Chinese championship during an injury-marred season in which he missed the Chinese Cup Final which his team won.
He was not in the squad for either leg of the final against Shanghai SIPG and flew back to Argentina just as his side lifted the trophy.
Tevez, who has often found it difficult to settle anywhere, saw his time in China unravel quickly.
He arrived in Shanghai a year ago to a hero’s welcome and was touted as a symbol of football’s fast rise in the country.
But he soon fell out of favour with Shenhua fans who questioned his fitness and commitment.
He earned the unflattering nickname “Very Homesick Boy”, a nod to past antics of jetting home to Argentina in times of strife, and he was accused of being overweight when new coach Wu Jingui took over at struggling Shenhua in September.
Wu later said that Tevez was working hard of his own volition to get fit and shed the bulk, but that did nothing to earn him a recall for the FA Cup final.
The Brazilian has been desperate to join the Catalan giants and has not travelled with Jurgen Klopp’s side to Dubai this week for warm weather training.
Barcelona-based Sport newspaper said Coutinho would join Barca this month on a deal for five seasons, although it said the details of the deal were still to be finalised.
“The club reached a deal in principle yesterday evening with Liverpool on the final amount of the deal,” Sport reported.
Another newspaper, Mundo Deportivo, said Liverpool were demanding 160 million euros for 25-year-old Coutinho, but that the sum would be made up of the transfer fee and other “variables”.
Coutinho’s departure would be a blow to Liverpool as he is just rounding into top form, scoring six goals in the last seven games of 2017.
Crucially though, acquiring the playmaker would allow Barcelona to move on from the bitter experience of losing his Brazil teammate Neymar last summer to Qatar-backed Paris Saint-Germain for a world record 222 million euros.
Coutinho’s age is also highly attractive to Barca, whose three main stars, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta are all in their thirties. Iniesta, at 33, has shown signs of fatigue this season.
Another report said Coutinho could arrive in Barcelona later Saturday and could be a spectator at Barcelona’s game against Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
French sport daily L’Equipe reported on Saturday that Liverpool were lining up Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez to replace Coutinho, although other reports have indicated that the Merseyside club would prefer to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco.
Coutinho played no role in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over city rivals Everton in the FA Cup on Friday. Liverpool’s winner was scored by Virgil Van Dijk, the Dutch defender signed last week from Southampton for £75 million (€ 84.5 million).
Provided by AFP Sport
Jupp Heynckes said on Saturday there had been no contact between Bayern Munich and Chelsea over Arturo Vidal and the Chilean international would not be sold during the January transfer window.
The veteran coach was responding to media reports over a possible transfer of the midfielder, which Heynckes dismissed as “pure speculation”.
“Certainly, there’s been no contact between the clubs,” Heynckes said at a press conference at the Aspire Zone in Doha where the Bundesliga leaders are on a winter training camp.
“It’s just speculation. Arturo Vidal is very motivated, he’s a top player and we need him at his very best if Bayern is to play well.”
He added: “We won’t sell any players in the (transfer) window.”
Media reports in Britain and South America had linked the 30-year-old with a move to London in order to reunite with Chelsea coach Antonio Conte, who he played under at Juventus.
But Heynckes ruled out any such move.
Bayern, who lead the Bundesliga by 11 points from Schalke 04, arrived in World Cup 2022 host Qatar on January 2.
They will play a friendly against Qatari league side Al-Ahli later on Saturday before returning to Germany on Sunday.
Bayern resume Bundesliga duties on January 12, when they play away to fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Heynckes, 72, is in his fourth stint at the club after Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness turned to their 2013 treble-winning coach following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti in September last year.
Bayern promptly won nine of their ten following matches.
English champions Chelsea have already been busy in the January transfer window, snapping up Ross Barkley from Everton for a fee, reported to be in the region of £15 million ($20 million, 17 million euros).