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Anthony Modeste back in training with Cologne after China move falls through

Anthony Modeste scored 25 times for Cologne last season.

Cologne striker Anthony Modeste has joined his teammates for preseason training after a €35 million transfer to Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian collapsed last week.

Modeste, who scored 25 goals for Cologne last season, had appeared to be on his way to Tianjin and was already in China when Cologne terminated discussions "after the parties involved were not able to reach an agreement."

At the weekend, Modeste told Bild he had never wanted the transfer in the first place, but the club let him feel they wanted to sell him.

The 29-year-old was greeted by Cologne supporters as preseason training began on Monday, later handing his training kit to them.

He then held talks with club officials, and Cologne sporting director Jorg Schmadkte told Bild: "We've held a good and open talk with Tony Modeste following the training session, and we've agreed not to make the contents public."

Schmadkte was backed by Bayer Leverkusen squad manager Jonas Boldt, who told reporters on Monday: "The way he handled the situation is good for all of the league. Every player has a value determined by the club.

"If an English club comes after a player, a bit is added on top, and if there's a Chinese club, it's a bit more than that. We all know that. There are certain rules."

Leverkusen midfielder Kevin Kampl has been linked with a switch to Beijing Guoan, but Boldt said: "We'd like to think he'll stay at Leverkusen but we have a clear signal for China.

"If they really want him, we'll sort something out, but we won't get involved into antics like we've witnessed just a few miles up the Rhine [in Cologne]."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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