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Guangzhou Fuli set to sign three from neighbours Evergrande

Guangzhou Fuli are set to profit once more from their close relationship with city rivals Evergrande, with the impending signing of three domestic players in Jiang Ning (pictured), Wu Pingfeng and Li Jianhua.

All China internationals, the trio have fallen out of favour at the Tianhe Stadium over the past 12-months and were all informed last month that they would be free to leave the club this transfer window. Following the arrival of five new signings already this January, Evergrande are looking to trim a first-team squad that has expanded to contain forty players—many of whom are full internationals.

While Guangdong natives Wu Pingfeng and Li Jianhua have been linked to R&F for some time, with neither player planning to move from their home province so late in their careers, the higher profile capture of Jiang Ning would be a surprise.

The 26-year-old forward has made clear his intention to leave Evergrande in recent weeks, following a reported fall-out with manager Marcello Lippi. It had been thought, though, that a return to his native Shandong was on the cards, while Champions League entrants Jiangsu were also reported suitors.

It appears, though, that Jiang will be following his colleagues in moving across the city to the Yuexiushan Stadium in a move that will help cement R&F’s early status as major challengers for a continental place in 2013.

The three reported arrivals also follow that of 39-cap centre-back Zhang Yaokun from Dalian Shide on a free transfer, announced in late December

The relationship between the two Guangzhou clubs is far from the hostile rivalry often associated with neighbouring sides, with Evergrande owner Xu Jiayin and R&F owner Zhang Li long-time associates in the property development business.

It is not the first time that players have moved between the two sides in recent times, with R&F securing the signing of midfielder Li Yan in December after a season on loan. Former Evergrande icon Lu Lin also now turns out for the Blue Army, having spent a season at nearby Guangdong Sunray Cave before eventually landing at Yuexiushan.

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.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Fee

    11/01/2013 at 18:45

    GZBiffo’s not going to be happy

    • GZBiffo

      14/01/2013 at 02:47

      Sad indeed to see Wu go as I think he’s really good at what he does and always put in a great shift. However, he’s been playing an increasingly marginal role at Evergrande, and that obviously wasn’t going to change under Lippi, so it’s a good move for him – he gets to stay in his home province and I’m sure he’ll get a lot more game-time at Fuli. My knock-off no.26 shirt is getting a bit flaky now anyway…

      The big problem to my mind is that getting rid of Wu and Li means that the only senior Evergrande squad members actually from Guangdong are Feng Junyan and Tang Dechao. Personally, I don’t think either are as good as Wu or Li, and are unlikely to improve much as they are approaching their thirties themselves. There are quite a few young local players in the squad, but none have made any real impact as yet – I really hope this season sees some of them make the step up as football clubs need their local heroes.

      Not so concerned about losing Jiang Ning – good player, but our attack is heavy with foreign talent (and Gao Lin), so he was only being used as back-up really, and moving him on makes space for younger players to get playing time.

  2. Damian Jones

    11/01/2013 at 20:14

    Sad to see Jiang Ning leave but I think he might be heading to Shandong. As for Wu Pingfeng, a great impact player but i’ve heard Team Shenyang (Fuli)( as they are known here in GZ) have turned their noses up as he’s too old.

    • Donald Ross

      12/01/2013 at 12:13

      Signing of all 3 confirmed (http://www.gzrffc.com.cn/news/newsshow_243.htm)
      Fuli seem to have a thing for signing old/experienced players because as well as Wu Pingfeng (31) and Li Jianhua (30), Zhang Yaokun who signed from Shide is 31.
      Is Li Jianhua a centreback or right/left back?

      • GZBiffo

        14/01/2013 at 02:49

        Li usually plays at right-back, though he has also played on the left. Was sometimes used on the right side of midfield too.

  3. Zhou Jiabao

    12/01/2013 at 05:42

    Jiang Ning is good to start on any team in the CSL, except Evergrande. I would’ve loved to see him stay though.

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