Malouda signs new deal
Chelsea’s French international midfielder Florent Malouda signed a four-year contract extension with the FA Cup winners on Tuesday. The 29-year-old, who had two years remaining on his current contract, had been linked with a move to Italian Serie A giants AC Milan despite a generally hugely disappointing spell at Chelsea since joining from French champions Lyon in 2007. “I am staying. I have four years left on my contract,” said Malouda, whose performances improved once Guus Hiddink replaced Luis Felipe Scolari at the club earlier this year. “Every time the transfer window opens there are rumors and I hope in this one people will know what happened.” Promising English under-20 international striker Daniel Sturridge is also set to sign for Chelsea from their English Premier League rivals Manchester City it was announced on Tuesday. The 19-year-old’s present contract at City was due to terminate at the end of this month and he has turned down the offer of a new one from the big-spending club. The ultimate transfer fee for him will be decided by a tribunal, with the two clubs unable to agree on a deal. Chelsea have to pay a transfer fee as Sturridge is under 24 and as a result cannot move for nothing under the Bosman ruling.
Zola bags striker Jimenez
Italian champions Inter’s Chilean international striker Luis Jimenez was snapped up on loan by English Premier League side West Ham United on Tuesday. The 25-year-old — known as the Wizard and capped 20 times — is the first signing for the Hammers’ Italian manager Gianfranco Zola this summer. Jimenez — who hasn’t represented Chile for more than a year — joins on a season-long loan with a view to a possible permanent move. “I can’t promise anything, but I am going to do everything possible to do a good job for the club,” Jimenez told West Ham’s Web site. Jimenez made his name in Italy at Serie B side Ternana, where he scored 25 goals in 88 league appearances between 2002 and 2007.
Messi outshines Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo may be the world’s most expensive player, but Barcelona star Lionel Messi outshines him in terms of media value, at least according to a team of Spanish researchers. The team from the University of Navarra said the Argentine had ousted the Portuguese striker as the player with the highest profile last season. However, Ronaldo remains the most expensive player, with the researchers valuing him at 82 million euros (US$115 million), less than the world record 93 million euros Real Madrid paid Manchester United for him this month. Messi was next at 80 million euros, followed by Liverpool’s Spanish striker Fernando Torres at 67 million euros.
Tianjin players go on strike
Tianjin Teda players went on strike on Tuesday after being asked to sign new long-term contracts with the Chinese Super League club, local media reported. The players are unhappy at being asked to sign deals of five years for younger players and two years for their more experienced teammates. The club hopes long contracts will prevent players going abroad on free transfers, as happened earlier this year when Shandong Luneng’s Zhou Haibin moved to PSV Eindhoven and Feng Xiaoting left Dalian Shide for South Korea’s Daegu FC. None of Tianjin’s Chinese players turned up for training on Tuesday after negotiations broke down.