Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers

By Christopher Atkins (follow Chris on twitter @china_football)

As 2012 draws to a close and the winter chill sets in, the transfer speculation is only hotting up. Once again Christopher Atkins brings us up-to-date with the latest news and rumours from the Middle Kingdom.

Shenhua secure Guoan midfielder Xu Liang

Xu Liang (L) battles for the ball against Kang Min-soo

Shanghai Shenhua this week announced the signing of Beijing Guoan’s China international midfielder Xu Liang on a free transfer following the end of his contract in the capital. The 31-year-old midfielder has signed an initial two-year deal at the Hongkou and should go someway to strengthening their frail midfield.

That process won’t be helped, though, if Shenhua lose their current national team midfielder Wu Xi, who is reportedly in the midst of a £2 million transfer battle between Champions League qualifiers Jiangsu Sainty and Guangzhou Evergrande.

In more bizarre news, Shenhua’s interest in 40-year-old Boca Juniors defender Rolando Schiavi appears to be real and the player himself has admitted he could shortly be on his way to the club. The ageing defender was thought to be retiring, but has reportedly been offered $2 million to sign a 10-month deal to play for countryman Sergio Batista.

One player definitely leaving, though, is Australian striker Joel Griffiths who signed for Sydney FC on Friday.


Aerbin begin making progress

Dalian Aerbin enjoyed a fine first season in the Chinese Super League, but life planning for 2013 was always going to get off to a slow start following the announcement that they would be merging with neighbours and eight-time Super League champions Dalian Shide.

This week, though, their plans for next season have begun to take shape with the appointment of a new manager. Aerbin, who it has been decided will retain their identity, have appointed local resident and former Shide manager Xu Hong as the man to take them forward—becoming one of just a handful of Chinese managers in the league.

There is, though, ongoing debate over the future of Shide’s former players. The CFA insist that those players would be available on a free transfer should Shide fold, while Dalian Aerbin could only register five of those in line with domestic transfer policy.

Aerbin, though, claim that this is not the case and they will maintain control over Shide’s contracted players. How? By running both sides in the Chinese Super League next season and transferring only the players they want.


Guangzhou Evergrande seal AC Milan partnership

Guangzhou and AC Milan sign off on their partnership

It has been rumoured for a while, but this week the partnership between Chinese double winners Guangzhou Evergrande and AC Milan was finally sealed as club chairman Liu Yongzhuo put pen-to-paper on a deal in Italy.

The announcement read: “Adriano Galliani was in high spirits when he received the president of Guangzhou Evergrande, Liu Yongzhuo, at Via Turati. The commercial partnership between the two clubs was sealed with smiles and a handshake. Galliani gave the Chinese club president a replica shirt with 8-Liu printed on it as a gift.”

The partnership between the two clubs is supposed to start with youth partnerships and will consist of loan-deals in both directions, as well as first-option schemes. It is suggested that China international centre-back Feng Xiaoting could be the first player loaned as part of the link-up, with Feng presently in Italy and this week featured in an interview with Corriere dello Sport.


News Round-Up:

• New Beijing Guoan manager Aleksander Stanojevic insists that Evergrande striker Cléo is not suited to the capital side.
• Shandong Luneng are set to take on both Evergrande and Aerbin for the signature of China international winger Yu Hanchao with a cash plus players offer.
• Among players linked to unnamed Chinese Super League sides this year are South African Benni McCarthy, Paraguayan Fredy Bareiro and Peruvian top-scorer Andy Pando.
• Despite the possibility that Shide will now continue next season, Shandong Luneng are reported to be close to signing full-back Zhao Mingjian.

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