Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers

By Christopher Atkins (follow Christopher on twitter@china_football)

It’s been a week of big news in China, and our man Christopher Atkins has been following it all.

R&F set for triple swoop as they aim high in 2013

Guangzhou Evergrande take great pride in representing the might and prosperity of Guandong province, but they might not be alone in doing so next season. Newly promoted in 2012, Guangzhou R&F started the season in fine style but were unable to maintain their challenge, ultimately finishing in a creditable 7th position.

They did, though, make their presence felt with the mid-season signing of English Premier League veteran Yakubu, to add to their talented Brazilian ranks, but they are aiming higher again in 2013.

Aiming high in the CSL ultimately involves strengthening your domestic core, even if nobody has told Shanghai Shenhua owner Zhu Jun, and R&F have set about doing so. Experienced international defender Zhang Yaokun was signed in December and three more China internationals are reportedly on their way in the coming days.

Guangdong natives Wu Pingfeng and Liu Jianhua have long been tipped to make the cross-city switch from neighbours Evergrande, but they are now set to be joined by highly-rated 26-year-old forward Jiang Ning. The moves will effect Evergrande little, bar reducing their bloated wage bill, but could help transform R&F into real contenders for a top four finish and Champions League qualification.


Aerbin complete Hoarau capture

Guillerme Hoarau has signed for Dalian Aerbinsha

Last week, in our Christmas round up, we spoke about the much increased threat of Dalian Aerbin following a string of high profile Chinese arrivals at the club.

It was also mentioned that the club were looking at PSG striker Guillerme Hoarau. Well, that deal ultimately became a reality and he has promised 20 goals next season.

The 6’4” striker has played five-times for the France national team and boasts an impressive scoring record in Ligue 1 over the past few seasons.

Although his €2.7 million contract no doubt helped his decision, the signing of another prominent European player at a relatively early age (28) is another boost for the Chinese Super League.

While Hoarau has signed, another striker has reportedly committed to the club. Last season’s second top Super League scorer, Peter Utaka, is set to sign a new two-year deal and join Daniel Mullen, Seydou Keita and Fabio Rochemback as the club’s foreign players for 2013.


Shenhua confident of retaining Drogba

Shanghai Shenhua owner Zhu Jun has insisted that star striker Didier Drogba will not leave the club this transfer window, despite reports to the contrary in Europe. The club hope to retain the Ivorian, although Nicolas Anelka is set for a winter departure and has been training with French giants PSG. The future of Colombian Gio Moreno remains unconfirmed.

A full breakdown on all the winter’s events at the Shenhua circus can be found on Wild East Football, including the prospect of the club paying Anelka £800,000 to leave the club.


News in Brief

- With Dalian Shide’s future still unresolved, Brazilian side Bahia’s attempts to re-sign the club’s former striker Adriano on a free-transfer have been met with rejection. The striker cost Shide US$3.8 million in 2011.

- It appears 40-year-old Argentine centre-back Rolando Schiavi is indeed joining Shenhua, though, after posting a picture of himself in the club’s kit on Twitter.

- While namesake Jose Ortigoza is set to be sold by Shandong this window, Paraguayan midfielder Nestor Ortigoza is apparently considering an offer from China.

- Guizhou Renhe this week completed the signing of Bosnian international attacking midfielder Zvjezdan Misimović on a three-year contract.

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