Zenit St. Petersburg has rejected an 11.9 million-pound bid from Barcelona for forward Andrei Arshavin, the Guardian said.
Arshavin has also been linked with a move to Arsenal and Chelsea after helping Russia reach the semifinals at Euro 2008.Zenit last week offered to extend his current contract, worth 3 million pounds a year, for another two years and has given the 27-year-old two weeks to decide his future, the Guardian said.
New Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba are part of his plans for the Premier League soccer club, following recent speculation that they might leave.
Scolari, who was introduced today as the Blues' coach, said he expects to retain both players. He added that John Terry will remain the club captain, with Lampard his second-in-command.
Brazilian Scolari, speaking in English at a televised news conference, said he met with Lampard for about 15 minutes yesterday. He asked the midfielder for whom Chelsea rejected an approach from Inter Milan if he wanted to stay at the London club.
"And he said to me, he wants to stay and wants to play for Chelsea many years," said Scolari, who led Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title and guided Portugal for the past five years. "I think Lampard is with us for more time than just one year."
Earlier today, Chelsea said Inter's approach did not contain a financial offer, and it had told the Italian club coached by ex-Blues manager Jose Mourinho that it would "not enter into any discussions" about selling Lampard.
Drogba's future at Chelsea has been in doubt since before last season. The striker has been linked with A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Barcelona, but Scolari said he is "200 percent" part of his plans for the future, adding "I like him."The 59-year-old Scolari replaced Avram Grant, who lost out to Manchester United in both the Premier League and Champions League last season. Grant took over the club in September when Mourinho left after three seasons.
Women's soccer league
U.S. national team stars will find out in mid-September which clubs they'll play for in the new Women's Professional Soccer league.
League and team officials will meet the week of Sept. 15 to allocate members of the national team pool to the inaugural seven squads, the WPS announced Tuesday.
Players have told league officials their preferred cities. Each team will also create a wish list of players.
Team owners will convene after the Olympics to weigh club and player preferences with the desire to maintain competitive balance, WPS commissioner Tonya Antonucci said. Recommendations will be made by a technical committee of about 15 people that will include team management and coaches and outside consultants. Antonucci will have the final say.
The league has yet to finalize a contract with the national team players association, but Antonucci said she was confident an agreement would come before Sept. 15.
"I think everyone on both sides is working hard toward reaching that goal," she said.
A series of drafts and tryouts will fill out the rest of teams' rosters with U.S. and international players. The league is scheduled to debut next spring with clubs in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.