Wolff back in MLS

U.S. forward Josh Wolff returned to Major League Soccer after 1 1/2 seasons in Germany, agreeing Monday to a four-year contract with the Kansas City Wizards.

Wolff left the Wizards in December 2006 to sign with 1860 Munich in the German second division, and scored two goals in 34 games with the German club. The 31-year-old played for Kansas City from 2003-06, scoring 27 goals with 20 assists in 80 games.

Wolff, who started his career with Chicago, has 59 goals and 35 assists in 164 MLS games, winning a pair of MLS championships. The two-time MLS All-Star also played in the 2000 Olympics and the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He has nine goals in 59 appearances with the U.S. national team.

"I am very excited to be back in Kansas City," Wolff said in a statement. "My family and I obviously have great ties here and it was a difficult decision to leave the first time, but it was something that we had to do. In coming back to the United States and MLS, Kansas City was first and foremost in our minds."

Deco to Chelsea

Luiz Felipe Scolari began his tenure as manager of Chelsea on Monday having already secured Barcelona and Portugal midfielder Deco as his first signing.

Chelsea said it completed the purchase of the 30-year-old playmaker, without providing contract details or the transfer fee. Chelsea paid 8 million pounds ($15.9 million) for Deco, who signed a two-year deal, the Guardian reported.

The two-time European Cup winner follows Portugal teammate Jose Bosingwa in joining Chelsea in the offseason as the London club rebuilds after finishing as runner-up in England's Premier League and Europe's elite Champions League.

"I'm sure I've come at the right time to do great things and be able to help Chelsea go back to the way it was and be first, not only in England but also to win the Champions League," Deco told Chelsea's Web site.

Frank Lampard's move to Inter Milan is likely to go ahead now that Chelsea has signed Deco from Barcelona, the Times said.

Inter has already had talks with Lampard over a four-year contract and will pay Chelsea 7 million pounds to take him to Milan, the newspaper said.

"My future at Chelsea? I don't know anything yet," the Times quoted Lampard as saying. "Italy is a beautiful country."

Manchester U. bound

Manchester United will bid 23 million pounds ($46 million) for Tottenham's Bulgarian international striker Dimitar Berbatov, the Daily Mirror reported today.

Spurs are reluctant to part with the 27-year-old and have put a 30 million-pound price on his head, the tabloid said.

United manager Alex Ferguson is also looking for defensive cover amid concern that captain Gary Neville, who missed most of last season through injury, will not make a full recovery, the Mirror said.

Spain's club matures

The skillful Spanish team that won the European Championship, lifting the country's first trophy since 1964, had been a champion in the making for years.

Several of the players who beat Germany 1-0 in Sunday's final emerged from talented Spanish squads that won European and world titles at the youth level. They include Fernando Torres — who scored the winning goal — goalkeeper Iker Casillas, midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez and defender Sergio Ramos.

Spain now sets its sights on the biggest title of them all as it prepares for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Spain never has finished better than fourth in the World Cup.

"The only thing I have to say to the manager who comes after me is to please treat them (the players) well and let them do their job," said coach Luis Aragones, who is expected to be replaced by former Real Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque.

The 69-year-old Aragones said long before the start of Euro 2008 that he would leave when it was over, and during the tournament reports swirled that he had agreed to take over at Turkish club Fenerbahce. He denied that, and then would not talk about it.