Brazilian striker Neymar is the most valuable player in Europe – worth about £216m – according to a new study which values 10 players at more than 100m euros. Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi is valued by academics at £149m while the only England players in the top 10 are Tottenham duo Harry Kane (£122m) and Dele Alli (£96m). Paul Pogba, who joined Manchester United for a record £89m in the summer, is valued at £136.4m. The study has been carried out by a team of academics from the CIES Football Observatory, using a transfer value algorithm. They have calculated the value using criteria that includes player performance and characteristics, such as age and length of contract.
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has signed a contract to extend his stay with the German champions until the summer of 2018. The former Chelsea player’s current deal was due to expire at the end of the season but he is now tied to the club until he is 34. “In his position Arjen is one of the best players in the world,” Bayern Munich’s executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “He’s been here for almost eight years and has become a key part of the club.”
Bad news for football agents looking to send their clients to Chinese clubs on crazy contracts. Chinese Super League clubs will only be allowed to play three non-Chinese players per game in their next season – which begins in March. A rule change has reduced the number of foreigners allowed in a move which could slow down the wave of big-money signings from Europe. A statement said the new measures will address “irrational investments.” Previously the rule was “4+1” – four foreigners of any nationality plus one Asian in a matchday squad.