Bayern Munich chief Rummenigge annoyed by Kovac comments on Sane transfer

The manager has said he is increasingly confident of bringing the Germany winger to the Bundesliga, but his boss isn’t happy

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was annoyed by comments made by Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac about Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.

Bayern’s interest in Sane is no secret, and Kovac said recently that he was confident about signing the 23-year-old.

But club chief Rummenigge is concerned that making a statement about a player under contract at City could harm relations between the two clubs, particularly with City boss Pep Guardiola vocal about his desire to keep him.

“I did not like what he said,” Rummenigge told ZDF.

“We have a good relationship with Manchester City and our former coach Pep Guardiola.

“Sane still has a contract there. Neither optimistic nor pessimistic quotes do anything to help us in that matter.”

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The Germany international has been in good form in pre-season but with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez competing for his spot on the wing, it isn’t clear how much he would be likely to start for City in the coming season.

Having been a key man in the 2017-18 campaign, his surprise omission from Germany’s World Cup squad last summer was followed by a spell out in the cold at the Etihad.

Bayern, meanwhile, want to build around him as one of the biggest stars of German football, with Kovac describing him as a ‘dream player’.

The saga has been rumbling on throughout the summer. City would now have to act swiftly to replace Sane with less than two weeks of the English transfer window remaining.

The deadline on August 8 comes after the Community Shield against Liverpool, and Guardiola isn’t likely to be too keen on stretching his squad any thinner as they look to challenge on four fronts yet again.

While Sane didn’t play as much as he would have liked last season, his return of 16 goals and 18 assists in 47 appearances underlines why City want to keep him.

One of those goals, the winner in the 2-1 home win over Liverpool, could easily be labelled City’s most vital goal of the year. If that game had stayed at 1-1 and other results remained the same, The Reds would have won the league.

That sort of quality is why Bayern would like to get him in as soon as possible. Their season kicks off with the DFL-Supercup against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

They then travel to Energie Cottbus in the DFB-Pokal, before starting the Bundesliga campaign on home soil, against Hertha Berlin on August 16.

Chipmakers bank on ‘white knights’ to move up the ladder

Experts: More steps needed to boost financing for equipment segment

More capital is needed to bolster the development of chip manufacturing in China, as the nation strives to reduce reliance on foreign technologies in case of a wider US export ban on the sector, investors and analysts said.

Ding Wenwu, president of China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co Ltd, said currently, money is flowing into the chip design segment, which has a lower technological threshold and quick investment returns, but more efforts are needed to bankroll the chip material, equipment and manufacturing segments.

“Currently, investors are interested in the chip industry, but it is important to ensure the right investment direction. It is important not to put all the money into semiconductor design. China is lagging behind advanced countries in chip material, equipment and manufacturing, all of which need heavy resource inputs,” Ding said.

According to him, only with a balanced growth in all of the above areas can China’s domestic semiconductor industry achieve sustainable development. The China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co Ltd was established in 2014 with its first phase of capital exceeding 138.7 billion yuan ($20.2 billion) from State and private investors. The fund is now raising the second round of capital.

Ding’s comments came after China’s chip industry notched up impressive strides in the past decade. In 2018, the country’s indigenous chip sector recorded 653.2 billion yuan in sales revenue, up 20.7 percent from a year earlier, faster than the global average, data from the China Semiconductor Industry Association show.

But as the world’s largest semiconductor market, China still spends more on importing chips than it does on crude oil imports in recent years. In 2018, its chip imports exceeded $300 billion for the first time, up from $260 billion in 2017, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Diao Shijing, co-president of Tsinghua Unigroup, the leading chipmaker in China, said semiconductor manufacturing is highly capital-intensive and requires superlong investment cycles.

“The government should help attract more money into chip manufacturing and let investors know that it is a profitable business, though it is not like chip design where money comes and goes faster,” said Diao, who was also a former senior official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the country’s top industry regulator.

The homegrown industry’s efforts to make some high-end processors for computers, servers and other electronic products was also put into the spotlight after Chinese telecom major Huawei Technologies Co was banned in May from buying US technologies without special government approval.

Huang Qing, China managing director of Walden International, a US venture capital company focused on cross-border investments, said there are many weak points in China’s chip industry including raw materials, equipment and chip design tools.

Manufacturing is the core of a semiconductor, but so far China has made no contributions to Moore’s Law, a key rule that has affected the integrated circuit sector for a long time, Huang said.

But as the US government moves to tighten control of key technologies including premium processors, China is facing an unprecedented opportunity to build up its chip capabilities.

China has the world’s leading system integration companies in mobile phones, 5G communications, security and other areas. They traditionally tend to cooperate with European and US suppliers. But as the US government moves to impose export controls on Chinese technology firms, they have begun to feel the urgency of working with domestic semiconductor companies, Huang said.

“By serving such tech giants, Chinese chip companies have an unprecedented opportunity to grow into global players,” Huang said, adding that the country now consumes more than half of the world’s semiconductors.

Sun Yingtong, chairman of Nationz Technologies Inc, a major chip company in China, said talent is what the industry lacks the most. “We don’t have enough people, not just those who excel in semiconductor technologies, but also those who have an innovative mind and are willing to spend years on research and development of projects.

“Openness is the soul of the semiconductor industry,” Sun said. “Despite the sophisticated international situation, we still need to have an open and inclusive mind. No matter what happens, we have to work hard to make ourselves leaders in technologies.”

Nationz is a top supplier of semiconductors in the electronic banking market, and one of the top three suppliers of integrated circuit chips to all government issued ID cards and travel documents.

Cool down with a homemade slushie

As heat waves sear across the world, people are coming up with full-scale plans to escape the melting weather. And there’s nothing like a slushie, an ice drink, on a hot summer day. It’s lighter than ice cream and more fun than an iced coke.

Originating on the US East Coast, the slushie (also known as a slushy, slushee, or slush) became extremely popular because you can simply fix a nice glass of delight by yourself at home. With so many kinds of flavors, you only are limited by your imagination.

For beginners or a group of guests, you may consider the classic lemon, orange or strawberry flavors – or, you can also use flavored liqueurs to create your signature drink! It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

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Summer camps promote traditional art forms

Seasonal gatherings gaining in popularity

Chen Jiayi was not keen on playing the pipa when her father first suggested she study the 2,000-year-old, four-stringed Chinese musical instrument. She was about 10 years old at the time and had earlier spent two years learning to play piano.

“For a start, the piano is much easier to play than the pipa,” said Chen, 21, a Beijing native, adding that her fingertips have fake nails which she uses to pluck the strings. “It was uncomfortable in the beginning,” she added.

Although she never expected to enjoy the pipa, she joined a traditional Chinese folk music troupe at her primary school and became one its best performers, and later continued her musical studies at summer camp.

About a year after she mastered the pipa, Chen was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare blood marrow disorder, and had to suspend her schooling.

She has experienced side effects from her medication, including delayed puberty and hyperandrogenism-a medical condition characterized by excessive levels of androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) in the female body-and the associated effects of elevated levels of the hormones.

But this has not stopped her from playing. Chen said she loves the sound of the pipa, “which is like pearls falling on a jade plate”.

“I’ve been through a lot after falling ill, and music is very important to me. I love playing old songs, such as Pipa Xing by Tang Dynasty (618-907) poet Bai Juyi, as it’s sorrowful but powerful,” she said.

When she was 14, Chen saw renowned pipa recitalist Zhang Hongyan perform on television, and quickly became a fan. She wrote a letter to Zhang, who teaches at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and they became friends.

In 2011, Zhang launched a summer camp as part of the annual Gateway to Music festival-one of Beijing’s biggest arts festivals for children which has been staged during the summer vacation since 1995 and is run by the Forbidden City Concert Hall. Chen joined the camp and continued her pipa studies.

Now in its eighth year, the pipa camp this summer was held from July 17 to 19 at the concert hall, attracting nearly 200 students. Chen could not take part because of her health, but she visited Zhang there.

Zhang said during the camp: “I am very proud and happy to see many young Chinese people love to play the pipa. Arts education is a key aspect of what we do as professional musicians and educators. Teaching inspires not only the students, but also the teachers in many ways.”

Zhang added that eight years ago, when the Forbidden City Concert Hall invited her to launch the pipa venture, it was the first summer camp at the Gateway to Music festival dedicated to a traditional Chinese instrument.

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'I can't enjoy my free time' – Mourinho itching for next job

The Portuguese says he has turned down a number of offers and is holding out for the right project

Jose Mourinho says he misses football and cannot enjoy his time away from the game, having been without a job since he was sacked by Manchester United in December last year.

The former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid manager is currently spending time in his home city of Setubal in Portugal having not agreed to take a new job for the upcoming 2019-20 campaign. 

Mourinho said back in May that he wanted to be in work by July, and had been linked with potential moves to Italy or France. 

“This is basically the first time I have time to think, the first time I am in Setubal at the end of July or beginning of August in more than 20 years,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

“I have some time to think, to rethink, to analyse and what I feel is exactly that ‘Ze’ (Mourinho’s nickname as a boy) is full of fire!

“My friends tell me ‘enjoy your time, enjoy your July, enjoy your August, enjoy what you never had’. Honestly, I can’t enjoy. I am not happy enough to enjoy.

“I miss my football, I have the fire, I have a compromise with myself, with people that love me, with so many fans that I have around the world, so many people that I inspired.

“Ze has to be Ze and Ze until the last day, but I don’t see the last day because my next move will be like the start! I don’t feel it’s just one more year in accumulation of how many years I’ve worked, how many titles I’ve won. That is history, that is the museum!

“My future will start in my next move and, as I was saying, it looks a little bit ridiculous with so many beautiful things around me and so many things I didn’t [have] for so many years, but I can’t really enjoy my free time.”

Mourinho is widely reported to have turned down a huge offer from Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande because he hopes to return to European football.

But with clubs like Inter, Juventus and Chelsea having already appointed new bosses this summer, the Portuguese looks unlikely to find a new team any time soon. 

“The most difficult thing for me is saying ‘no’ to the possibilities,” Mourinho continued.

“I had to work, because, inside of me, I [always] have that impulse of wanting to work. [If] I have an opportunity to work, [I want to say] ‘let’s work’. To say ‘no’ is very, very, very, very difficult.

“Why do I say ‘no’? I say ‘no’ because it’s not [at] the level of challenge that I want. But, with all respect to the possibilities I have had and the clubs involved, I want the right to choose the people who are ‘Mourinhista’ – like people say in Portugal, Spain and Italy – ‘Mourinhista’ is someone who is a fan.

“The ‘Mourinhistas’ want me where I belong, so, for me now, it’s not a question of [saying], ‘okay I have this offer and I’m going to take it’. I have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity and the right opportunity is one that is at the same size and the same level that I am as a manager.

“It is the most difficult thing because I have the impulse during this period, so many times to say ‘Yes, I go’. But no, I cannot go. I cannot go. I have to wait for the exact right one.

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“I [have] never told who [is the right one]. I never do that. Lots of respect for the people that think I am the right guy for them and I never do that.”

Madrid pursuit of Pogba an uphill battle with Man Utd nearing deadline

The Frenchman looks increasingly likely to stay put at Old Trafford this summer now that the Spanish giants have left it so late to make their move

Real Madrid seem to be facing an uphill battle in their pursuit to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United with just nine days remaining until the English transfer deadline.

The Blancos appear more in need of Pogba than ever following the humiliation of their 7-3 pre-season defeat to neighbours Atletico at the weekend, but the bad news for them is that they may have left it too late to persuade United to part ways with the World Cup-winning midfielder.

United have been adamant throughout the summer window that they expected Pogba to remain their player into the 2019-20 season, and are believed to have privately put a price-tag of around £160 million ($194m) on their former world-record capture. But the Frenchman’s declaration at a promotional event in June that he was ready for “a new challenge” seemed set to spark a long, drawn-out move to Madrid.

Yet, despite his agent, Mino Raiola, then claiming that the 26-year-old was “in the process” of leaving Old Trafford, there has still been no official approach from Madrid. And with the English transfer window closing on August 8, it would now take a speedy operation by the power brokers at the Santiago Bernabeu to get Pogba signed in time.

Theoretically, Madrid could still snap up Pogba at any time until the Spanish window shuts at the end of August, with Gareth Bale and other potential departees helping to make room in the squad and the budget. But United would not be willing to sell their star player at a time when they are unable to land a replacement, meaning that Madrid are effectively working to the Premier League deadline when it comes to Pogba.

United are not desperate for the money either. So far this summer they have only spent around £65m ($79m) on the signings of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and while they are hopeful of adding Leicester City’s Harry Maguire to their squad in the next nine days and have also been linked with Bruno Fernandes of Sporting CP and Sean Longstaff from Newcastle United, the huge revenues accumulated at Old Trafford mean there is no need to sell a major player to finance such deals.

There have been some links between United and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio, but the belief is that the Red Devils would only turn to the Serbian midfielder if they were to be resigned to losing Pogba. And with executive vice-chair Ed Woodward and his transfer team having been very slow and considered about the timing of their transfer activity in recent years it would be unlikely that they would rush through a deal for Milinkovic-Savic at this late stage just to allow Pogba to head to Madrid.

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United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken at length – even long before being handed the Old Trafford job – about his desire to build a team around Pogba, and it would be a huge PR disaster for the club to enter into talks for the France international’s sale at a time when the Norwegian is looking to launch a rebuild of the United squad. Their summer campaign thus far has been one of careful planning and unhurried decision-making, so to enter into talks with Madrid at this late stage would undermine everything which the club have preached to this point.

This all leaves Madrid staring at the probability of missing out on Pogba and finding themselves heading into the 2019-20 season without a player who coach Zinedine Zidane has openly courted over a period of some months.

“I know him personally,” said the former France captain in March. “He brings so much and there are few players who bring as much as he does.

“He is a midfielder who knows how to defend and how to attack, but he is not my player, he is at Manchester.

“He has always said that, after Manchester, Madrid has always interested him. So when his experience at Manchester ends, why not come here to Madrid?”

But that eventuality now looks unlikely to happen this summer, with United having put the ball in Madrid’s court and the Spaniards having so far failed to respond.

With so little time now left to get a deal done, it seems increasingly likely that it will be Premier League pitches on which Pogba will be plying his trade for the season to come.

'There are some proposals' – Nedved says clubs are interested in Dybala amid Man Utd links

The Juventus vice-president provided an update on the Argentine’s future, while he also discussed Romelu Lukaku

Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved said there are “proposals” and “interest” for Paulo Dybala as the star attacker faces an uncertain future with the Serie A champions.

Maurizio Sarri’s Juve are reportedly willing to cash in on Dybala, who has been linked to Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain.

Dybala struggled for form last season, scoring just five Serie A goals as the Argentina international was unable to cement a consistent role following Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival.

Juventus are ready to listen to offers , although the attacker is keen to remain in Turin and will speak to new boss Maurizio Sarri upon his return from his post-Copa America holiday.

Nedved admitted that those talks could include discussions of outside interest as the Italian champions are aware of other clubs that would like to make a move to secure Dybala’s services.

“There are some proposals, there is some interest, but we wait for concrete action so we can then decide calmly,” Nedved told reporters.

Reports grew on Monday that Dybala could be involved in a swap deal to lure Romelu Lukaku to Turin from United.

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Serie A rivals Inter have been tipped to sign Lukaku throughout the window, however, the Nerazzurri are yet to reach a deal with United.

CEO Giuseppe Marotta revealed on Monday that Inter’s offer for Lukaku was “fair and important” in his eyes , adding that the club will not be forced into overpaying for the United striker.

Juve have now emerged as a possible destination for Lukaku, with the Italian champions reportedly ready to offer Dybala and money to the Red Devils in exchange for the Belgium striker.

Asked about Lukaku, Nedved added: “Having won eight consecutive Serie A titles, we feel that we have a strong team already. Obviously, with the transfer market open, we’re trying to reinforce the squad.

“I won’t get into details and I don’t want to talk about individuals, but let’s say we are working on it.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Moise Kean and Mario Mandzukic are among the other forward options on Juventus’ roster, although the latter three have all been the subject of exit talks in recent weeks. 

De Rossi: I chose to continue with the craziest fans in football at Boca

The Argentine giants presented their big-name signing on Monday and the World Cup winner saluted the passion of the club’s supporters

Daniele De Rossi believes he has chosen to continue his career with “the craziest fans in football” after joining Boca Juniors following his Roma departure.

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The 36-year-old midfielder had spent his entire professional career at Roma, having come through their academy, but they opted to let him leave on a free transfer and that sparked protests from supporters.

Initially the former Italy international looked destined to retire, but Boca emerged as a potential destination, and it soon became apparent De Rossi had long desired to represent Los Xeneizes.

De Rossi was given a hero’s welcome upon his arrival in Buenos Aires, and Boca confirmed his signing on Thursday after he agreed a 12-month contract.

He was officially presented to the media on Monday and highlighted the influence of Boca sporting director Nicolas Burdisso – a former Roma team-mate of De Rossi’s – and the passion of the fans in his decision to sign.

“These days I think I want to be inside this stadium, to know deeply what it means,” he told reporters.

“The reception at the airport was incredible. I can’t thank you enough other than by doing my job as seriously as I can. I have to be serious to show that we all made a good choice.

“From time to time we talked, Nicolas and I. First, I said yes after I left Roma, but then I asked him if I could think about it a little more.

“Being 36 years old and changing everything at once was something that could scare me, but this place stimulates me, and Nicolas was my guarantee.

“He told me that they are professionals in Boca, and I believe him. He is my friend; he would not have brought me to a place where I wouldn’t fit in.

“I need serious people, with a structure similar to that in Europe, and what I have seen here is that, a suitable place to work.

“I asked myself many times. I lived for 20 years in a country where football is lived 24 hours a day.

“I could have chosen a much quieter place to relax, but I only know one way: seriousness, and then I chose to come to a place with the craziest fans in football.”

Russia parades warships, aircraft to mark Navy Day

Russia showed its navy muscle by displaying its latest frigates at a parade to mark its Navy Day on the Baltic Sea on Sunday.

The parade, involving more than 4,000 personnel, 43 warships and submarines, and 31 aircraft, was held near Saint Petersburg and nearby Kronshtadt. It shows the Navy is ready to fight back any aggressor, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the parade.

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The ships included the Admiral Kasatonov frigate, the Gremyashchiy-class corvette, the Kronshtadt submarine of project 677, the small Mytishchi and the Serpukhov rocket ships and the Ivan Antonov minesweeper.

The Navy Day is celebrated across Russia to honor “all those who at different times in history served Russia faithfully and loyally, and who continue doing this on its borders and far away from the homeland”, Putin said.

By the end of the parade, amphibious Be-200 airplanes, an A-50 long-range radar surveillance aircraft, as well as Su-30SM fighter jets flew over the Neva River and the Gulf of Finland.

“Our Navy ensures security of the country, its national interests and can properly repulse any aggressor,” Putin said.

This is guaranteed by unique weapons that Russia has, he said, “but the most important is that the courage and training standards of the fleet crews, loyalty to the St. Andrew’s Flag (Russia’s Navy Flag) and devotion to the Fatherland remain a special and lofty duty for them. The sailors stand to the end when they perform their combat missions”, Putin said.

“At the time of bitter trials, the seamen are ready to give their lives for their ship, their people and the Fatherland,” Putin emphasized, citing numerous examples of heroism by Russian sailors back in the 19th century, during the World War II and most recent examples, like the courage of the crew during the fire onboard a Russian submersible in the Barents Sea.

Putin pledged that the country has remembered and will always remember the feats of the Russian sailors, and he appreciated the seamen for seeking inspiration from heroic traditions, for their unity and strength, for bravery and courage, and for their service to the country.


Over 100 children take part in Beijing vocal summer camp

More than 100 children, aged from four to 13, took part the vocal summer camp conducted by the Forbidden City Concert Hall over July 24-25. The camp was conducted by teachers from the Beijing Spring Children’s Chorus headed by artistic director Su Danna. The camp has a history of 10 years, and aims at offering children courses on chorus singing.

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The camp is among 16 summer camps of the ongoing the annual Gateway to Music event, which has established itself as one of Beijing’s biggest arts festivals for children during the summer vacation, since 1995.

The summer camp programs cover percussion, dance, singing and traditional Chinese musical instruments such as the pipa.