Tianjin confirm bids for Costa, Benzema, Cavani and Falcao failed

New rules set by the Chinese Football Association ended the aspirations of the CSL club to lure one of four big-name forwards from Europe

Tianjin Quanjian owner Shu Yuhui confirmed the cashed-up Chinese Super League outfit had plans to sign Diego Costa, Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao until China’s Football Association (CFA) made changes to the limit of foreigners.

Juventus ridiculed for new ‘condom’ logo

Having already lured Belgium international Axel Witsel to the CSL, Tianjin – coached by former Real Madrid and Juventus defender Fabio Cannavaro – had been linked with further moves for Chelsea’s Costa & Co.

And Shu revealed Tianjin had been in talks with the Spain international, Real Madrid striker Benzema, Paris Saint-Germain’s Cavani and Monaco hitman Falcao before the CFA announced new rules regarding foreign players, with teams in the CSL forced to name only three of their imports in starting XIs from this season.

“Our club had a massive investment plan for the new season but it was tightened up by the new rules,” Shu told Tianjin Sports Channel.

“We need an out-and-out striker so we made a bid for Benzema. We also made an attempt for Falcao. 

“As a matter of fact, the club had even prepared the contracts for Falcao and [Benfica striker] Raul Jimenez. We had already reached agreement with them on wages and bonus. The pair were expected to sign the contracts, but the new rules forced us to give up on them.”

Delving deeper into Tianjin’s transfer plans, Shu revealed meetings with Jorge Mendes, whose clients include Cristiano Ronaldo among others.

“I made an appointment with Mendes and he came to my hometown to visit me. At that time, we were interested in signing Costa,” he added.

Let Costa go, Conte!
“PSG told us Cavani would only be allowed to leave in June, even though the player himself was willing to join us. The same can be said for Costa because Chelsea would only let him leave in June. However, the new season of CSL will almost reach the halfway stage in June, we can’t wait so long.”

While the arrivals of these players appear unlikely, Fiorentina star Nikola Kalinic is nearing a move to Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin.

“We are currently discussing whether to hold onto [former Brazil international] Luis Fabiano,” Shu said. “But Cannavaro told us he preferred Kalinic, who would perfectly fit into the team’s style of play.”

Tianjin are set to play in China’s top flight in 2017 after Cannavaro guided the club to promotion last season.

RUMOURS: Falcao subject of €50m China bid

After regaining his place in the Monaco first-team, Fabio Cannavaro is eager to bring the forward to the Chinese Super League with a lucrative offer

Radamel Falcao is the latest player linked with China, after Tianjin Quanjian launched a €50 million bid for the Monaco forward, according to Canal+.

Falcao re-established himself in the Monaco starting XI following unsuccesful loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, and has scored 12 Ligue 1 goals in 14 games so far this season.

Tianjin manager Fabio Cannavaro is looking to add firepower to attempt to challenge for the Chinese Super League title, and sees the Colombia international as a solution up front.

Cannavaro has already signed Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel during the transfer window, and is eager to bring in another superstar after winning promotion to the top-flight.


Falcao's first hat-trick in four years sends Monaco top of Ligue 1

The Colombian’s first treble since 2012, with Atletico Madrid, earned his side a 4-0 win over Bordeaux to lift them to the top of the table

Monaco moved top of Ligue 1 as a first hat-trick in four years from Radamel Falcao fired them to a 4-0 victory over Bordeaux on Saturday.

Leonardo Jardim’s side seized the advantage with two goals inside five minutes as Djibril Sidibe slotted home from close range, before goalkeeper Jerome Prior inadvertently parried Valere Germain’s cross off Falcao and into the net.

The Colombia international made certain of the victory for his side shortly after half-time as he collected Germain’s cut-back before coolly rounding Prior and turning home, while a penalty completed his first treble at club level since December 9, 2012.

53 – Monaco have scored 53 goals after 17 Ligue 1 matchdays, the second highest tally ever behind RC Paris in 1959/60 (55). Festival.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) December 10, 2016

Adam Ounas was sent off for a challenge from behind on Sidibe to compound Bordeaux’s misery as Monaco celebrated moving top of the table on goal difference, though Nice will overtake them should they avoid defeat against champions Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

Falcao, who took his tally to 14 goals in 16 games in all competitions, had a message for his doubters.

“You should never underestimate the heart of a fighter,” the 30-year-old, who scored only five league goals in two seasons in the Premier League for Manchester United and Chelsea, told Canal Plus.

“I’m very happy for the team especially. Little by little the whole team has improved. I’m very happy with all of us.

“My team-mates and my coach give me the confidence to play freely. We just have to continue with the same ambition and the same fight and take things game by game.”

Falcao finding his best form – Pekerman

The striker endured miserable spells at both Manchester United and Chelsea but appears to have recaptured some of his previous sparkling form in Ligue 1 this season

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman is excited to see striker Radamel Falcao finding his best form for Monaco.

Hazard eyes Ballon d’Or

Falcao is back in the Colombia squad thanks to his fine start to the Ligue 1 season with Monaco, have struggled for form and fitness during loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea.

The 30-year-old scored twice in Friday’s 6-0 demolition of Nancy on Saturday, having also bagged a brace in Wednesday’s Champions League match against CSKA Moscow, taking his total to eight for the season.

And as Falcao prepares to return to the international fold for Colombia’s World Cup qualifiers, Pekerman has heaped praise on the 62-cap veteran.
“Falcao has always been a key player in the national team,” said Pekerman via FIFA.com.

“Unfortunately his injury kept him out of the last World Cup. Now we’re in another stage and, after a timeout, he is finding his best form.

“You have to start from bottom to top. Hopefully he can find his best form and realise his highest expectations.”

Colombia host Chile on Thursday before travelling to Argentina on November 15.

Falcao highlights Monaco ambition after Nancy thrashing

The Colombian, who now has four goals in his last two appearances, is enjoying his team’s success

Radamel Falcao believes Monaco’s 6-0 thrashing of Nancy showed the title ambition of his side after they moved to within three points of Ligue 1 leaders Nice.
‘Ozil goal pure football orgasm’ 
Falcao scored twice to mark his recall to the Colombia squad in style, following his Champions League brace against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, and he now has eight goals this season.

But the forward was keen to highlight Monaco’s collective effort after they scored six for the second time in three Ligue 1 matches to demonstrate their attacking force, with Guido Carrillo, Fabinho and teenager Kylian Mbappe also on target.

“We showed the ambition of the club,” he told Canal+ Sport. “Even when the team was leading 3-0, we kept trying to score. We played very well.

“It’s good for everyone that Guido and Kylian have been rewarded. When the team needs them, it has these players.

“But we must continue to play 100 per cent every game, because this championship is very difficult.”

Falcao missed both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Copa America through injury but he returns to the Colombia squad for World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Argentina after his fine form caught the eye of coach Jose Pekerman.

“Personally, I feel good,” he said. “With the accumulation of minutes and matches, I will make further progress.”

Mbappe has been compared to Thierry Henry after his Monaco breakthrough, but Falcao insisted the 17-year-old needs to be given time after scoring his second Ligue 1 goal this season.

“He has great quality,” Falcao said. “But I think that we have to leave him to be to be himself.

“Time will allow him to become a great player, but let’s leave him just now because he has great qualities.”

Falcao thrilled with 'special' Colombia recall

The Monaco striker has been called up to the Colombia squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers, ending an international exile of over a year

Radamel Falcao is delighted after earning a recall to the Colombia squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Argentina.

Wenger’s record vs Spurs

The AS Monaco striker, who scored his first goals in the Champions League in six years in his side’s 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, has been included in Jose Pekerman’s squad for the first time in 388 days.
The former Manchester United and Chelsea loanee, who has scored six goals in nine games this season, admitted that it was “special” to earn back his place after struggling for form and fitness for much of the last two years.

He wrote on his official Instagram page: “Happy to come back and play with my national team. It is a special time for me. I have been working hard for this. I am focus [sic] to give the best of me.”


'I'm very happy!' – Falcao ends six-year wait for Champions League goal

The Colombia international scored his first Champions League goals since 2010 on Wednesday, and he wants to keep up that form for the Ligue 1 side

Radamel Falcao is targeting more goals for Monaco after ending a six-year wait to score in the Champions League during Wednesday’s win over CSKA Moscow.

Bale sets Real Madrid record

The 30-year-old scored twice in the first half of the 3-0 win after Valere Germain had put the home side ahead at Stade Louis II.

Falcao, whose last goals in the competition came for Porto in February 2010, was relieved to make his mark and wants to sustain his goalscoring form in Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash with Nancy.

“We’re very happy with the victory and we’ll try to defend first place,” he said. “I’ve never played in the Champions League for Monaco. They were my first two goals with Monaco and it was a good win for the team.
“I hope to score more for my team. The most important thing is that Monaco achieve their objectives.

Dembele limps off for Spurs

“I feel good physically at the moment, I played 70 minutes at a good rhythm. I hope to continue on Saturday.”

Monaco’s win has put them two points clear at the top of Group E with two matches to play.

VIDEO: Premier League flop Falcao scores stunner in Champions League

The Colombian finally made the headlines for positive reasons as he bagged a European double to end a six-year drought

Monaco proved too much for Champions League opponents CSKA Moscow on Wednesday evening, with Radamel Falcao snatching the headlines.

Bale sets Real Madrid record

The former Manchester United and Chelsea forward scored Monaco’s second of the night, before concluding the scoring with a delightful finish. 

Linking up with Valere Germain, Falcao slotted the ball through to his strike partner before gracefully turning a defender with his back to goal. 

Then, on the spin, lifted the ball over CSKA goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Rolling back the years! @FALCAO completes a great team move with a delightful finish. #UCL https://t.co/YiKvZnRzHu
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) November 2, 2016

The Colombian proved that he’s still got it, despite falling flat in the Premier League, and you can watch in the clip above. 

We believe in Falcao, but he can do even more – Jardim

A point from Monaco’s next Champions League game with Tottenham will be enough to seal their progression to the knockout stages

Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim hailed goalscoring hero Radamel Falcao after his double moved the club closer to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Pochettino shows his ruthlessness… now Spurs must do the same

The 30-year-old’s first-half strikes helped the hosts brush aside CSKA Moscow 3-0 and extend their lead at the top of Group E to two points, but Jardim feels the Colombian striker can be even better.

They were his first goals in the competition since February 2010, having since endured long injury absences and unsuccessful moves to Manchester United and Chelsea.

After the match, Jardim urged Falcao to stay fit and keep finding the back of the net. 

“The important thing is that the club, me and the team believe in him,” he told L’Equipe.

“He had a very good game for 60 minutes. That’s Falcao, with lots of good combinations in the game.

“Now he has to get consistency and string together matches.”

Bale sets Real Madrid record
Monaco host Tottenham in three weeks, where a point would be enough to confirm their progression to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Jardim praised his side’s first-half display as they scored three times to end the game as a contest by the interval.

“In the first half there was the show, three goals, a lot of combinations,” he said.

“We were very strong in the first period. This gave us an advantage in the game.

“At 3-0 at half-time, it was necessary that the team maintained a state of concentration [so] I had to talk a lot in the second period.”

Falcao breaks SIX year Champions League drought

The former Chelsea and Manchester United forward had not netted in the competition since February 2010 before scoring twice for Monaco against CSKA Moscow

Radamel Falcao’s return to Champions League football this season has not quite gone to plan, but the Colombian’s drought in the competition is finally over.

The former Manchester United and Chelsea striker netted twice in the first half as Monaco put CSKA Moscow to the sword on matchday four.

And his first goal saw him find the net in Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in over six years.

2010 – Radamel Falcao has scored his first Champions League goal since 17/02/2010, 2450 days ago. Tigre.

— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 2, 2016

His last strike came in a 2-1 win for Porto over Arsenal in Februay 2010 – a mere 2450 days ago!