In a surprise move, former Chinese National Team captain and Celtic F.C. central defender confirmed a transfer from Hangzhou Greentown to Shandong Luneng for a reported minimum of RMB 10 million. Du Wei’s departure leaves Hangzhou Greentown with the task of replacing the team captain, defensive stalwart, and leading scorer thus far in the 2012 season.
Du Wei arrived at Hangzhou Greentown in 2010 and in the same year helped the club achieve its best ever finish, fourth place, in the CSL and first bid in the Asian Champions League. Before Hangzhou Du Wei was a regular fixture for Shanghai Shenhua and spent a loan spell at Celtic F.C. in 2006. The 30-year-old’s experience will be sorely missed at Greentown, a club dominated by youth, as well as his offensive threat that has already tallied four goals this season.
The move is reported to be financially motivated, with Shandong offering an improved contract and Hangzhou Greentown cashing in on the in-form player during a period of financial difficulties for the club. However, Greentown coach Okada has stated his reluctance to part with the defender and is known to have insisted Du remain part of Greentown after previous offers from Wuhan and Guangzhou R&F. Nonetheless Du joins a list of Hangzhou Greentown players who have left in the last six months including Rong Hao (RMB 12 million to Guangzhou Evergrande), Xiang Jinpeng (RMB 8 million to Dalian Aerbin), collectively amounting to over RMB 30 million in money coming in.
With the loss of such an impact player comes speculation of an incoming transfer at Greentown FC. Then again, Okada has been increasingly relying on upcoming youth of Greentown and is likely to wait until after this Sunday’s fixture away against Qingdao to make any kind of decision. Regardless, the departure of no. 5 will be missed by the Greentown faithful.