LONDON (AP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping the high quality of competition in Europe will keep players from leaving for the financial gain in China. Wenger is facing regular questions about the future of both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, and the big money on offer in the Chinese league can complicate negotiations. Argentine striker Carlos Tevez joined Shanghai Shenhua last month in a deal worth $40 million over two years. “The danger (is) that the Chinese offers become the benchmark for Europe,” Wenger said Thursday. “You cannot compete with that, but I still think that, when you’re a footballer, the first thing is that you want to play against the best players in the best teams.”
By Martyn Herman LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Slaven Bilic has only been manager at West Ham United for a season and a half but already has experienced the full gamut of emotions associated with the mercurial London club. There were the heady highs last season when his eye-catching side pushed for a top-four finish in the Premier League, the tearful farewell to a cherished old stadium, the uncomfortable transition to a new one, and for a while this season the pressure of a horrid run of results that put his job in peril. This season, with crowd violence marring some home fixtures, a lengthy injury list and his team's confidence shredded by defeats such as the 5-1 home thrashing by Arsenal in December, Bilic found himself under attack from every direction.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Soccer fans will face "a challenge" when traveling between games at the continent-wide 2020 European Championship, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Thursday. The tournament will be held in 13 cities across Europe to mark its 60th anniversary, ranging from the Irish capital of Dublin in the west to the Azerbaijani city of Baku in the east. "Of course it's a challenge if fans have to travel thousands and thousands and thousands of kilometers across Europe," Ceferin said at a ceremony in the Russian host city of St. Petersburg. "It can be very interesting but it can be a big challenge even for a big organization such as UEFA. I think everything will be fine, I'm