Yesterday I complained about how boring this transfer window has been to date, today there’s major news about a bid for two players that would represent a massive shifting of power in the Chinese Super League. Dalian Aerbin are a truly unique story, going from the 3rd division in 2010 to the top flight this year, winning both leagues on their way up. Now they’re looking to continue that streak and in their desire to achieve that goal, they are close to buying Tianjin’s Yu Dabao and Chen Tao.
Yu and Chen have been oft talked about targets this close season, Tianjin have been rejecting offers for Yu since December and of course Chen was close to going to the Serie A. The pair were keys to Tianjin’s success in winning the CFA Cup last year and are (were?) expected to be difference makers in the upcoming campaign.
Dalian is rumored to be offering somewhere between RMB35 and 40 million for the pair. Negotiations appear to be going well between the parties, though it still seems most likely that only one will leave Tianjin this offseason, with Yu being the front runner. He recently returned from Tianjin’s training camp in Europe, many expected it was due to rumors that Guangzhou Evergrande have signed him, but the player and his representatives are insistent that it was due to a family matter.
Aerbin’s a team with a winning history and they want that to continue in the Chinese Super League. The club is run by former Dalian Shide star (and China international) Li Ming, who was part of all eight titles won by that club. After they earned promotion to the Chinese Super League, Li didn’t waste time, quickly hiring away Chang Woe-Ryong from Qingdao. Chang turned a mediocre, cellar dwelling Qingdao side into a contender for an Asian Champions League spot and he’ll surely be expected to work similar magic in Dalian.
The club is ready to do everything it takes to achieve that success, bringing in budding stars like Dong Xuesheng and surrounding them with an impressive quintet of current or former national teamers who’ve played in the top leagues in Europe. Names like Lee Addy, Fabio Rochemback, Peter Utaka, and Gustavo Canales may not be instantly familiar to fans, but they’ve all played for top clubs and have national team experience on the biggest stages.
Currently, Aerbin look like a middling side, they don’t appear to be pushovers or a “yo-yo” side, but as currently constructed, they aren’t contenders, however adding this pair of Chinese national team stars would instantly change that. The big prize is obviously Yu, who at 23 years old is arguably China’s greatest young talent. If the northeastern club could pull off this transfer, it would instantly make this silly season a lot more exciting.