Tianjin Quanjian threatens action after Modeste returns to Cologne

Cologne announced Anthony Modeste had rejoined the club on Saturday, yet Tianjin Quanjian insists that he is still registered to it.

Anthony Modeste in action for Tianjin Quanjian.   -  Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Tianjin Quanjian is threatening to take legal action against Anthony Modeste and Cologne after the German club announced it had re-signed the striker.

Cologne released an official statement on Saturday to confirm that Modeste, who had been training with its under-21 team, had rejoined on a contract spanning until 2023.

The 30-year-old initially left in July 2017 for a reported fee of €35million, signing a deal scheduled to run until the end of 2020.

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However, Modeste has been in a contract dispute with Tianjin since August and while his appeal for an early termination is yet to be resolved by FIFA, has now agreed a return to one of his former employers.

The Chinese Super League side responded to the news by issuing a statement, reminding both Modeste and Cologne that he is still registered as a Tianjin player, while revealing that it is prepared to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary.

"Modeste joined Tianjin Quanjian in 2017 and signed a contract valid until the end of 2020. Since August 2018, Modeste has left the team while remaining a registered player and he appealed to FIFA for an early termination of the contract," the statement read.

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"Tianjin Quanjian has actively responded to the lawsuit, relying on the facts to reasonably refute the unreasonable demands of the player."

"Before FIFA made a decision, the club regretted the misjudgement of Cologne in signing Modeste and reminded Cologne that it might be responsible for breach of contract with the player."

"Tianjin Quanjian firmly believes that FIFA will make a fair decision on this case, and the club will take all measures to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests. Also, the club has made further preparations, to file a legal proceeding against Modeste and Cologne at the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

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Modeste scored 45 goals in his first two-year spell with Cologne, which was relegated from the Bundesliga at the end of last season.

"Cologne has been very concerned about me and helped me tremendously in the past weeks after my return from China," he said in a statement on the club's website.

"I really want to repay this support and trust and do my part to make them successful. I cannot wait to get up for Cologne again."

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