Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers

By Christopher Atkins (follow Christopher on twitter @china_football)

With the Chinese Super League season finished for 2012, it’s that time of year when rumour and innuendo abound as clubs look to strengthen and bolster their squads ahead of the next season.

Christopher brings us the latest news from the Middle Kingdom in a new weekly column for Asian Football Feast.

Evergrande look to consolidate double success

Feng Renliang has joined CSL Champions Guangzhou Evergrande

On Sunday at the Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou Evergrande wrapped-up a 5-3 aggregate victory over Guizhou Renhe in the CFA Cup final, to become only the third Chinese side to achieve a league and cup double. The Cantonese club, though, have not rested on their laurels and moved quickly to secure 24-year-old China international winger Feng Renliang in a £1.3 million deal from Shanghai Shenhua.

Evergrande have a clear policy – they wish to consolidate their dominance in the league by buying the best Chinese players available, with a preference for those Under-25.

It seems Feng may also be followed through the door in Guangzhou by 25-year-old China No. 1 Zeng Cheng on a free transfer from relegated Henan Construction. Those close to the player have revealed he is available on a free transfer and Evergrande are reportedly close to making Zeng their new goalkeeper.

While domestic players are on their way in, the club’s foreign player quota is being cut. Cho Won-Hee and Paulão the first casualties.

Shenhua close on Xu Liang – but will they face competition?

Reports this week have suggested that Beijing Guoan midfielder Xu Liang, 31, is on the verge of crossing the Jing-Hu divide and joining Shanghai Shenhua. The deal would make a lot of sense for Shenhua, who have been sadly lacking in midfield in 2012, while it has been suggested that 24-year-old defender Dai Lin will move the other way.

Xu took to Weibo (Chinese twitter) to confirm that there had been contact with Shenhua, but also laughed off suggestions of a swap with Dai Lin. Unfortunately for excited fans in Shanghai, reports are starting to gain pace that both Guangzhou sides have also made contact with the midfielder and Evergrande’s pulling power is enough to cast doubt on any deal before pen is put to paper.

China international wanted by Celtic? Joins Wuhan

There was some confusion on the internet this week as some websites jumped the gun in claiming that Dalian Shide full-back Zhu Ting was close to sealing a move to Scottish giants Celtic. There was contact according to the player, but the China international has instead joined newly promoted side Wuhan Zall on a three-year deal after refusing an offer to remain with the newly merged Dalian outfit.

Zhu is a big name in Chinese football and his capture is a statement of intent from Wuhan, with several of the league’s larger sides eyeing up both Zhu and his national team colleague at Shide, Lv Peng.

Guoan say an emotional goodbye to Pacheco

Beijing Guoan fans say goodbye to manager Jaime Pacheco

Over a thousand Beijing Guoan fans showed up at Beijing Airport on Sunday morning to bid an emotional goodbye to Portuguese manager Jaime Pacheco after his end-of-season sacking.

Pacheco had guided the capital side to consecutive Champions League qualifications and had won over the fans with his emotional performances on the touchline.

While Pacheco has since spoken of a desire to return to China, Guoan have hastily begun their search for a replacement.

Club officials will head to Serbia later this week for talks with recently departed Dalian Aerbin coach Aleksander Stanojevic who is odds-on favourite to take the job after his sterling work in the North-East.




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