Napoli have announced that they have postponed Marek Hamsik’s transfer to the Chinese Super League due to concerns about the payment of the transfer fee.The 31-year-old had been expected to complete a move to Dalian Yifang for a fee in the region of €15 million (£13m/$17m) this week.However, Napoli have called a halt to the deal, blaming a problem with the agreed “payment methods”, although they do not specify with which club in China they have been negotiating. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “Napoli have decided to suspend the sale of Marek Hamsik to the Chinese club because the methods of payment of the agreed amount do not line up with the agreements previously reached,” the club said in a statement.There is no indication as to whether the deal has collapsed entirely or if Hamsik’s move may still go ahead. The Chinese transfer window is open until February 28.Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed last week that Hamsik had asked to leave Napoli after 12 years at the club.The Slovakia international midfielder has made 520 appearances for Napoli to date, managing one goal in 19 appearances this season.If he was to eventually complete his move to Dalian Yifang, he’d join the likes of Nicolas Gaitan and Yannick Carrasco, who have also left European football for the Chinese club in recent years.Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis said of the club’s record goalscorer: “I have told Hamsik that this is his home. Even if he wants to come back, we’ll be happy to welcome him back.”It’s a beautiful story. He has always done his duty. He is impeccable.”Napoli face Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday and it remains to be seen whether Hamsik will be involved.
Manchester United have applied to the Football Association to set up a professional women’s team in the second tier of the Women’s Super League, the club announced on Wednesday.With many leading English clubs, including Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, all having sides in Super League One, United was widely criticised for not having an adult women’s team.”We are pleased to announce that the club intends to establish its first ever professional women’s team,” United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.”The Manchester United women’s team must be built in the same image and with the same principles as the men’s first team and offer academy players a clear route to top level football within the club.”On Wednesday, a report was published according to which United are the leading English club when it comes to social media muscle, despite going through a difficult patch ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left the managerial position.The Old Trafford giants, who topped Deloitte’s Money League in January for the world’s richest clubs, also came out top of the Social Network Rankings for the Premier League in 2017.The report, produced by Newton Insight, ranked England’s 20 top-flight according to eight performance indicators across various social media platforms.United beat Manchester City to first place with Chelsea third, Arsenal fourth, Liverpool fifth and Tottenham Hotspur in seventh place. Huddersfield Town were a surprising sixth with Stoke City bottom of the pile.United had 73.7 million Facebook followers in 2017, 16.5 million Twitter fans and 20 million Instagram followers.advertisementUnited also had most followers of the 20 Premier League clubs on Chinese social media platform Weibo 9.2 million.Fans of the Red Devils made up 30 percent of all Premier League followers and the club accounted for 40 percent of all Premier League fan engagement on social media in 2017.”The best way to describe Manchester United’s approach to building its global fanbase is relentless’,” the report said.(With inputs from Reuters)