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Daily Briefs Humpday: Winter practice begins across the country

takes a look at all the big Chinese sports news stories so you don’t have to. Transfer news looms large, though we’re not all serious, as Gangnam Styling Liaoning keeper Zhang Lu shows in the opening picture (see Takeshi Okada’s version as well). If you haven’t competed our (short!!!) 9 question survey yet, please do so! We are very greatful to all who have helped out and will take all the feedback we get to heart. 

-Zhang Yaokun has signed with Guangzhou R&F (que picture holding jersey). Rumors put the 31 year old longtime Dalian defender’s salary at RMB5 million a year. Perhaps this means the southerners are no longer targeting Chinese international Zhao Peng. However, R&F are by no means done, they have an RMB12 million bid in for Changchun winger Zhang Wenzhao. If the sale goes down, it would be a tidy piece of business for Yatai, who purchased Zhang four years ago for RMB600,000.

Shanghai Shenhua unveiled Xu Liang, Li Jianbin, and new managerial team member Shen Xiangfu on Tuesday. Shen will be in charge of their training until Batista returns to Shanghai, though the club also has plans to do their winter training in Argentina.  The most recent rumor is that the club’s targeting Xavier Chen, the Belgian born overseas Chinese who took Taiwanese citizenship in 2011 and currently plays in the Belgian top flight.

Wu Xi has signed a contract with Jiangsu Sainty and is heading to Nanjing for his physical. The latest is that his transfer fee is RMB16 million, if I’m not mistaken its the highest so far this year.

Hangzhou Greentown’s Japanese manager Takeshi Okada has officially signed a new contract with the Zhejiang club. Expectations were rife that he would be staying with Greentown, but now it’s official, after having signed a two year extension.

He arrived to massive media attention, he leaves not having scored a goal at Hongkou. Nicholas Anelka’s time at Shenhua has come to an end, the club and player have mutually agreed to terminate his contract and allow him to go on a free this offseason. This interesting, expensive experiment comes to its conclusion.

The Chongqing FA has failed to find a sponsor for club Chongqing FC and it looks like they could be moving. Qinghai Senke are the team looking to purchase Chongqing FC and while the initial price was said to be RMB15 million (or the cost of a decent Chinese international player), the Qinghai team appears to have negotiated the cost down to RMB10 million or so. Qinghai made it into the China League Two playoffs in 2012, but ended up finishing fourth.

-Winter practice has begun across the country. Tianjin Teda, Dalian Aerbin (and Shide, interesting to see some players still wearing Shide gear), Beijing Guoan (doing it up in Hainan), and Shanghai Shenhua. Currently almost every team has started their winter practic sessions, with Guizhou, Changchun, and R&F, who are expected to start in the next few days. The league champs Guangzhou Evergrande get the longest break of all, not starting until 2013. Many teams are choosing either Hainan or Kunming as their base and most will spend time in Europe or Korea/Japan as well.

Chinese pop star Sun Nan spent a day with Wuhan Zall shooting  a music video. The star has recorded the club’s theme song for the upcoming season.

Ten years after Gazza’s galloping through Gansu, professional football returns to Lanzhou. The new club, Gansu Aoxin, will play in China League Two starting next season and hopes to develop local talent in China’s northwest, in a similar way as Xinjiang’s club has done.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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