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Football transfer news and rumours: 'Andy Carroll unable to train amid Chelsea interest' 

Chelsea's reported interest in West Ham striker Andy Carroll is an intriguing sub-plot in this January window, as the champions look for reliable back-up to Alvaro Morata.  According to the Daily Mirror, Carroll has told West Ham he is unable to train due to an ankle injury despite club scans not detecting a problem.  David Moyes has denied knowledge of any bid from Chelsea, but it is believed West Ham would be willing to listen to offers in excess of £20 million for the former Liverpool striker.  Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appears to have little faith in Michy Batshuayi, who scored in their FA Cup replay against Norwich on Wednesday, but the club's pursuit of Carroll has left fans underwhelmed.  West Ham could be in for a busy time however, with Jason Burt reporting they are eager to sign Portugal international and Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario on loan and talkSPORT suggesting they could be prepared to let Javier Hernandez go.  Hernandez's time at West Ham could be short lived Credit: Getty Images The future of Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan remains the window's biggest story however, with our own Matt Law reporting that the Arsenal forward has agreed personal terms with Manchester United in a Daily Telegraph exclusive.  Sanchez has agreed a four-and-a-half year deal worth around £180 million in total, accounting for his wages, £20 million signing on fee and a £10 million fee to his agent.  It is a staggering deal for a 29-year-old with six months remaining on his Arsenal contract, and the Chilean could earn £14 million after tax at Old Trafford if the deal goes through.  That could depend on Mkhitaryan agreeing terms with Arsenal, though the Irish Times report that Jose Mourinho will urge United's board to press ahead with a cash only deal if that cannot be achieved.  How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? Meanwhile, James Ducker reports that United have begun negotiations with David De Gea as they try to ward off Real Madrid's long-term interest in the goalkeeper.  There have been no fresh developments in Arsenal's pursuit of Pierre Emerick-Aubamayang, but there is certainly space in their squad for attacking additions after Theo Walcott finally completed his protracted move to Everton on Wednesday.  According to the Daily Star via reports in Italy, Juventus are interested in Arsenal pair Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil, as well as Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen.  Elsewhere, Watford attacker Richarlison in planning a summer switch to Arsenal or Chelsea according to the Watford Observer, while Leeds are readying a bid for Rangers' Josh Windass after Preston's £500,000 offer was rejected.  And the rest... Emre Can latest  The German midfielder was excellent in Liverpool's win over Manchester City, but Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta confirms the Old Lady are interested the soon-to-be free agent.  "Emre Can is a player whose contract is running down, so it allows us to approach him for negotiations and that is the course we have taken," Marotta told Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday. "I can't say if he could sign a new contract with Liverpool, but I can say we will try all we can to get the player. "Obviously, we have to respect what the player wants." Emre Can is another player who could leave for nothing this summer Credit: Getty Images Record breaker Cedric Bakumbu will become the most expensive African player in football history after Chinese club Beijing Guoan agreed to pay Villarreal his release clause in a £65 million deal.  Blast from the past World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger has agreed another deal to remain at MLS franchise Chicago Fire. You might recall that he was asked if he could help Chicago win the World Cup at his unveiling. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Andy Carroll unable to train amid Chelsea interest' 

Chelsea's reported interest in West Ham striker Andy Carroll is an intriguing sub-plot in this January window, as the champions look for reliable back-up to Alvaro Morata.  According to the Daily Mirror, Carroll has told West Ham he is unable to train due to an ankle injury despite club scans not detecting a problem.  David Moyes has denied knowledge of any bid from Chelsea, but it is believed West Ham would be willing to listen to offers in excess of £20 million for the former Liverpool striker.  Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appears to have little faith in Michy Batshuayi, who scored in their FA Cup replay against Norwich on Wednesday, but the club's pursuit of Carroll has left fans underwhelmed.  West Ham could be in for a busy time however, with Jason Burt reporting they are eager to sign Portugal international and Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario on loan and talkSPORT suggesting they could be prepared to let Javier Hernandez go.  Hernandez's time at West Ham could be short lived Credit: Getty Images The future of Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan remains the window's biggest story however, with our own Matt Law reporting that the Arsenal forward has agreed personal terms with Manchester United in a Daily Telegraph exclusive.  Sanchez has agreed a four-and-a-half year deal worth around £180 million in total, accounting for his wages, £20 million signing on fee and a £10 million fee to his agent.  It is a staggering deal for a 29-year-old with six months remaining on his Arsenal contract, and the Chilean could earn £14 million after tax at Old Trafford if the deal goes through.  That could depend on Mkhitaryan agreeing terms with Arsenal, though the Irish Times report that Jose Mourinho will urge United's board to press ahead with a cash only deal if that cannot be achieved.  How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? Meanwhile, James Ducker reports that United have begun negotiations with David De Gea as they try to ward off Real Madrid's long-term interest in the goalkeeper.  There have been no fresh developments in Arsenal's pursuit of Pierre Emerick-Aubamayang, but there is certainly space in their squad for attacking additions after Theo Walcott finally completed his protracted move to Everton on Wednesday.  According to the Daily Star via reports in Italy, Juventus are interested in Arsenal pair Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil, as well as Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen.  Elsewhere, Watford attacker Richarlison in planning a summer switch to Arsenal or Chelsea according to the Watford Observer, while Leeds are readying a bid for Rangers' Josh Windass after Preston's £500,000 offer was rejected.  And the rest... Emre Can latest  The German midfielder was excellent in Liverpool's win over Manchester City, but Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta confirms the Old Lady are interested the soon-to-be free agent.  "Emre Can is a player whose contract is running down, so it allows us to approach him for negotiations and that is the course we have taken," Marotta told Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday. "I can't say if he could sign a new contract with Liverpool, but I can say we will try all we can to get the player. "Obviously, we have to respect what the player wants." Emre Can is another player who could leave for nothing this summer Credit: Getty Images Record breaker Cedric Bakumbu will become the most expensive African player in football history after Chinese club Beijing Guoan agreed to pay Villarreal his release clause in a £65 million deal.  Blast from the past World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger has agreed another deal to remain at MLS franchise Chicago Fire. You might recall that he was asked if he could help Chicago win the World Cup at his unveiling. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Andy Carroll unable to train amid Chelsea interest' 

Chelsea's reported interest in West Ham striker Andy Carroll is an intriguing sub-plot in this January window, as the champions look for reliable back-up to Alvaro Morata.  According to the Daily Mirror, Carroll has told West Ham he is unable to train due to an ankle injury despite club scans not detecting a problem.  David Moyes has denied knowledge of any bid from Chelsea, but it is believed West Ham would be willing to listen to offers in excess of £20 million for the former Liverpool striker.  Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appears to have little faith in Michy Batshuayi, who scored in their FA Cup replay against Norwich on Wednesday, but the club's pursuit of Carroll has left fans underwhelmed.  West Ham could be in for a busy time however, with Jason Burt reporting they are eager to sign Portugal international and Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario on loan and talkSPORT suggesting they could be prepared to let Javier Hernandez go.  Hernandez's time at West Ham could be short lived Credit: Getty Images The future of Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan remains the window's biggest story however, with our own Matt Law reporting that the Arsenal forward has agreed personal terms with Manchester United in a Daily Telegraph exclusive.  Sanchez has agreed a four-and-a-half year deal worth around £180 million in total, accounting for his wages, £20 million signing on fee and a £10 million fee to his agent.  It is a staggering deal for a 29-year-old with six months remaining on his Arsenal contract, and the Chilean could earn £14 million after tax at Old Trafford if the deal goes through.  That could depend on Mkhitaryan agreeing terms with Arsenal, though the Irish Times report that Jose Mourinho will urge United's board to press ahead with a cash only deal if that cannot be achieved.  How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? Meanwhile, James Ducker reports that United have begun negotiations with David De Gea as they try to ward off Real Madrid's long-term interest in the goalkeeper.  There have been no fresh developments in Arsenal's pursuit of Pierre Emerick-Aubamayang, but there is certainly space in their squad for attacking additions after Theo Walcott finally completed his protracted move to Everton on Wednesday.  According to the Daily Star via reports in Italy, Juventus are interested in Arsenal pair Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil, as well as Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen.  Elsewhere, Watford attacker Richarlison in planning a summer switch to Arsenal or Chelsea according to the Watford Observer, while Leeds are readying a bid for Rangers' Josh Windass after Preston's £500,000 offer was rejected.  And the rest... Emre Can latest  The German midfielder was excellent in Liverpool's win over Manchester City, but Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta confirms the Old Lady are interested the soon-to-be free agent.  "Emre Can is a player whose contract is running down, so it allows us to approach him for negotiations and that is the course we have taken," Marotta told Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday. "I can't say if he could sign a new contract with Liverpool, but I can say we will try all we can to get the player. "Obviously, we have to respect what the player wants." Emre Can is another player who could leave for nothing this summer Credit: Getty Images Record breaker Cedric Bakumbu will become the most expensive African player in football history after Chinese club Beijing Guoan agreed to pay Villarreal his release clause in a £65 million deal.  Blast from the past World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger has agreed another deal to remain at MLS franchise Chicago Fire. You might recall that he was asked if he could help Chicago win the World Cup at his unveiling. 

MLS transfer news: The latest rumors and trades in Major League Soccer

Goal summarizes the biggest transfer and trade talk involving the LA Galaxy, New York City FC, Toronto FC and the biggest clubs in North America

MLS transfer news: The latest rumors and trades in Major League Soccer

Goal summarizes the biggest transfer and trade talk involving the LA Galaxy, New York City FC, Toronto FC and the biggest clubs in North America

MLS transfer news: The latest rumors and trades in Major League Soccer

Goal summarizes the biggest transfer and trade talk involving the LA Galaxy, New York City FC, Toronto FC and the biggest clubs in North America

MLS transfer news: The latest rumors and trades in Major League Soccer

Goal summarizes the biggest transfer and trade talk involving the LA Galaxy, New York City FC, Toronto FC and the biggest clubs in North America

MLS transfer news: The latest rumors and trades in Major League Soccer

Goal summarizes the biggest transfer and trade talk involving the LA Galaxy, New York City FC, Toronto FC and the biggest clubs in North America

MLS transfer news: The latest rumors and trades in Major League Soccer

Goal summarizes the biggest transfer and trade talk involving the LA Galaxy, New York City FC, Toronto FC and the biggest clubs in North America

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

Bastian Schweinsteiger re-signs with the Chicago Fire for the 2018 season

The German midfielder will return to the club for the 2018 season after singing a fresh deal with the MLS side

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

Planet Futbol on SI TV: Episode 9

SI Soccer analysts Grant Wahl and Luis Miguel Echegaray are joined in studio by Red Bulls Goalkeeper and MLS ironman Luis Robles as well as Former US Men's National player and ESPN Lead Soccer Analyst Taylor Twellman.

206. Vancouver Whitecaps

El mejor equipo de la MLS, con un salto enorme en la clasificación, en 2016 estaba en el lugar 841. / Foto: AP

USL's Second-Division Sanctioning Maintained By U.S. Soccer

CHICAGO (AP) – The United Soccer League has been sanctioned as a second division league for 2018 by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which says the circuit has been given a two-year path to full compliance with the governing body's standards.

The USL had been given provisional second-tier status in 2017. It began its professional competition in 2011 and held third-tier status before 2017. It reached an agreement with MLS, the only first division U.S. men's league, in 2013 to integrate the reserve teams of the top tier.

The USSF board approved the decision last weekend during a meeting in New York. The federation said Tuesday in a statement that the ''USL has demonstrated substantial progress toward reaching full compliance since being granted provisional Division II sanctioning.''

The North American Soccer League held second-tier status from 2011 through last year. When its status was not renewed, it filed an antitrust suit against the USSF. The NASL's application for a preliminary injunction against the USSF was denied in November, and it took the case to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has not ruled.

The USL said last week it plans to have 33 teams this season, which starts March 16-18.

In addition, the National Women's Soccer League's first-division status was sanctioned for this year. The USSF said the NWSL and USL must apply for re-sanctioning annually and work toward full compliance by 2020.

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason

MLS transaction tracker: All of the latest trades and transfers across the league

Goal keeps you up to date with all the moves going on around Major League Soccer during the offseason