Shanghai Shenhua have made yet another big splash in the transfer market, this time signing Columbian attacking midfielder Giovanni Moreno from Argentian side Racing Club for a fee believed to be $9 million.
The 25-year-old formerAtlético Nacional player joins Shenhua hot on the heels of Didier Drogba, and whilst not quite on the same level as the world superstar striker, Moreno is a player approaching his prime and has been capped 15 times for his country.
Local media reported that Moreno admitted Chin was not a place every player wanted to play, but that he was motivated to play alongside the likes of Drogba and Anelka.
The fact that Moreno was once told by a hooligan group connected with Racing Club that he would be shot if he did not improve his performances may have been a factor in his decision to come to China – signing a two-year contract with an option for a further two years.
The big question facing Shenhua now is who leaves to accommodate Moreno. Shenhua are not participating in the Asian Champions League at the moment, so they are unable to take advantage of the brand new rule allowing an extended foreign roster of seven players – they are stuck with five.
Currently Shenhua have Manset, Anelka, Drogba, Moises, Griffthis, Moreno and Bozic on their books – that means two must leave. Manset’s loan from Reading is up soon and he’s due to return shortly after a fruitless six months in Shanghai, Midfielder Bozic looks most certain to be joining him on the way out.
Ground: Hongkou Football Stadium, Hongkou District, Shanghai
Capacity: 35,000 (26,000 for football)
Honours: Chinese top-tier league champions: 1995
Chinese top-tier league runners-up: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008
Chinese FA Cup winners: 1998
Chinese FA Cup runners up: 1995, 1997, 2015