After what seems like weeks of chasing and speculation, Beijing Guoan signed Freddy Kanoute on Friday afternoon. Kanoute is arguably Guoan’s most well known foreign signing ever due to his time in Spain and the UK.
Kanoute’s not coming cheap, Guoan signed a year and a half deal with the striker that will see him earn $2 million a year. The 34 year old was said to be considering offers from the United States and Middle East, but after arriving in Beijing on Thursday and participating in protracted negotiation sessions, said to last until 5 am on Friday morning, Guoan was able to lock up their man. Kanoute was out of contract, so will be coming to Guoan on a free transfer.
Kanoute’s age is certainly a concern for many Guoan fans. He’s had a number of impressive seasons with Sevilla, tallying double digit goals in almost every one of his league seasons, including a high of 21 in 2006. He also has quite a good scoring rate in cup and European competitions. However, last season, one that saw him suffer through injuries, Kanoute only managed four goals in 26 appearances. Whether this was just an off year or a sign the years are catching up on him, we’ll have to see.
The new man didn’t travel to Guangzhou with his teammates and will see his first action for Guoan next week at home against R&F at the earliest. It will also mean that Guoan will be letting go a foreign player, most likely the injured Francois, though possibly Manu, in the next few days.
WEF is greatly honoured to have aboard B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese bloggersphere.
Cheng has been the other lonely soul blogging in English about Chinese football over the last few years. With both Cheng and WEF’s editor linking back and forth to each others’ sites on a regular basis, it was probably inevitable that they would eventually join forces to try to illuminate and decipher the curious world of Chinese football, with their combined musings.
Cheng’s credentials are second to none – his blog focuses not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese bloggersphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. Cheng very generously decided to climb aboard and give WEF his views on the issue of the Chinese footballing day.