Xie Feng likely coached his first and last match as Beijing Guoan manager Saturday night as the club is expected to unveil Gregorio Manzano as its new manager in the next few days.
The Spaniard Manzano has never coached outside of Spain, where he has 30 years of experience managing at a number of different clubs, including multiple spells with Atletico Madrid and Mallorca, where he won his only trophy, a Copa Del Rey in 2003.
The new manager is rumored to have signed a one year contract with Beijing worth $1.5 million that would be automatically renewed if the club finishes in the top three of the CSL, reaches the final of the CFA Cup, or makes it into the final eight of the ACL. If any of these targets are reached, his salary would automatically reach $2 million. There is also said to be a clause that would cut his salary if the club loses three matches in a row.
Manzano shouldn’t put too much thought into his contract as the previous two seasons Guoan has fired managers months after extending their contracts. The capital club is hoping their third foreigner manager in three years will be the charm, but Manzano’s hands will be full with a locker room consisting of oft contrary veterans who have butted heads with previous managers. He also has little more than a week before the club’s first ACL match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima on February 25th.
The club has brought in an additional reinforcement for Manzano, having signed Li Yunqiu from Shanghai East Asia for RMB7 million. The right footed back was an important part of East Asia’s back four last season starting in 26 matches and notching a goal and two assists. Li’s arrival in Beijing could signify the club has finally found a longterm replacement for 35 year old Zhou Ting.