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Guangzhou Evergrande chairman fury at ‘unprofessional’ Conca

Guangzhou Evergrande chairman Liu Yongzhuo has hit out angrily at “unprofessional” Argentine Dario Conca after the midfielder walked out on the club at the end of the season.

Conca, 29, who ranks amongst the best paid players in the world, joined Evergrande in June 2011 for a $10 million fee, signing a contract in China until December 2013.

However, following a dispute with the club’s former manager Lee Jang-soo, having been regularly substituted by the Korean, Conca has made clear his intention to force a move back to former side Fluminense – despite a brief show of contrition in August.

The Chinese club have grown frustrated with the Argentine’s attitude in recent months, with Conca trying to force a move despite Fluminense’s reluctance to pay a fee of anywhere near what they received for the player.

Evergrande’s stance is now clear. Unless Fluminense meet their asking price, Conca must stay in China – even if it means him leaving on a free next year. Should he not return, Liu made it clear that the club would pursue Conca through the courts over breach of contract.

“Frankly, my view on Conca is: he’s brilliant on the field, but difficult off it,” Liu told the Soccer News publication. “We can all see his performances, he is an exceptional player. Off the pitch, to put it nicely, there is not enough professionalism. To put it bluntly, he is a ‘contract fraud’.

“As [Evergrande group chairman] Xu Jiayin has said, he must abide by the contract. Conca must fulfil the terms stipulated in the contract. In this case, there has been a clear breach of contract.”

When asked to clarify Conca’s current status, Liu added: “Conca has gone. He left a letter which said: ‘I’ve gone and I’m not coming back’. In fact, he told us this before when he started agitating over a transfer.

“Regarding a transfer, the chairman has discussed his terms. If they aren’t met, then he cannot leave until the end of the contract. This was all considered when we signed him. If he doesn’t come back, we will go to court to protect our interests. At that time, we will take the contracts to FIFA.”

Based in Guangzhou, Christopher covers Chinese football for a range of media outlets worldwide and is Wild East Football's lead editor for news content.   His work can regularly be seen on ESPN FC, Bleacher Report and Hupu amongst other media outlets, while he has interviewed a number of leading figures in Chinese football.

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