Beijing Guoan appears to have signed a contract with Alexander Stanojević to serve as the club’s manager. Sources are reporting the agreement is a two-year deal worth US$1.9 million a year and with similar results-based requirements as were put in former manager Jaime Pacheco’s contract.
Stanojević is a relatively inexperienced manager, at only 39 years of age, but he led Partizan to a Serbian league double in 2010-11. He joined newly promotoed Dalian Aerbin a month into the season after the club fired Chang Woe-Ryong. At that point the club was sitting in 15th place, with three points in four matches and having yet to win a match. Stanojević was able to turn things around in Dalian and get the team to a surprising 5th place finish, just short of an Asian Champions League spot.
The letting go of Pacheco was full of controversy as the Portuguese manager delievered excellent results in the leauge (a 2nd and 3rd place finish) was much loved amongst the fans, though he was never very loved in the locker room and the club was very unhappy with his lineup choices. Guoan was also not pleased with the club’s ACL performance last season, finishing bottom of the group and not having won a match. That lack of success in Asia could cost Guoan their sponsorship deal with Spanish banking group BBVA, a deal that is worth US$2.7 million a year, when that deal concludes at the end of this year.
For fans unhappy about Pacheco being let go, the signing of Stanojević should help ease the pain of Pacheco’s departure. The new manager seems highly capable, especially considering what he did with little resources in Dalian. Hopes will be high in the capital for a serious run at the league title in 2013. Stanojević has a strong relationship with on loan Guoan striker Andrija Kaluđerović, who may now end up returning to Beijing in 2013. There has been a lot of talk previously about Evergrande’s Cleo ending up in Beijing, but now with Stanojević in charge (who managed Cleo at Partizan), that talk has been growing, though Freddie Kanoute is still under contract and expected to be a part of the team next year.
One player who won’t be is midfielder Xu Liang, who is heading to Shanghai after Shenhua agreed to an RMB seven figure transfer fee for the 31 year old often referred to as “China’s Beckham”.