It has been far from smooth sailing for former Chelsea teammates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in their foray into Chinese soccer.
With their club, Shanghai Shenhua, sitting in 10th place in China's top flight comes word that the pair may have to be offloaded because of financial issues and a conflict among shareholders, according to reports out of China.
The ownership tussle affects the club's players in that their wages won't be able to be paid in full unless chairman Zhu Jun's demands to have a greater say in the club's operations are met. Drogba and Anelka are each said to be making more than $300,000 a week and would have to be among the casualties in order for the club to survive financially, should Jun make good on his treat to pull his money from the table.
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SPURS SPURNED FOR DAMIAO
Tottenham's wishes to land Olympic golden boot winner Leandro Damiao before the close of the summer transfer window will go unfulfilled.
Spurs were turned down by Internacaional for the 23-year-old Damiao, a player the club had hoped to bring in to boost its front line after the acquisition of Emmanuel Adebayor.
"He is an Internacional player until December," Internacional vice president Luciano Davi told Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. "Their offer wasn't relevant and we are not interested in selling him. Tottenham came to us but their offer didn't match our valuation of him. Leandro Damiao is a national team striker and we have to value that."
RAPID VIENNA, PAOK HIT WITH EUROPEAN SANCTIONS
If Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna are to overturn their one-goal deficit in the final qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, they'll have to do so in front of an empty stadium.
Rapid and opponent PAOK Salonika were both hit with a suspended one-year ban on European play by UEFA for fan violence that escalated prior the first leg of their playoff tie in Greece. The suspended ban is in effect for three years so the winner will continue on to the group stage, but any other incidents would cause the ban to go into effect immediately, according to Reuters.
In addition to the ban, Rapid were hit with a €75,000 fine and must play one European game without fans, while PAOK was fined €150,000 and must play their next three European games behind closed doors.
MILAN BACK OFF SIGNING KAKA
Kaka's return to AC Milan won't be happening, according to the club's vice president.
Adriano Galliani reportedly said that the risks involved with signing Kaka for Real Madrid's asking price and the player's wage demands are too much for the club to consider bringing back the veteran Brazilian midfielder.
Kaka, 30, had his best years as a professional with AC Milan, where he played from 2003-2009. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award and Ballon d'Or in 2007 but has largely been an afterthought at Madrid, where he has yet to play a minute this season.
Surprised that Anelka and Drogba's move to China may not end up working out? Where would you want to see them end up if they were sold? Disappointed that Damiao won't be signing with Tottenham? What do you make of UEFA's punishments for Rapid Vienna and PAOK? Did you want to see Kaka return to Milan?
Share your thoughts below.