Guangzhou Evergrande stole the CFA’s thunder on Friday afternoon, announcing a three-year contract extension for manager Marcello Lippi at the same time as Alain Perrin was being unveiled as the new coach of the national team.
Lippi, who had insisted only last week that he would be leaving the club at the end of his current deal, was expected to be a possible candidate for the China position. Instead, he has committed his long-term future to the Cantonese side, along with those of his backroom staff.
Since joining the club in mid-2012, the Italian has achieved unprecedented success in winning two league titles, a CFA Cup and the AFC Champions League title. As part of his role, he is also helping to oversee Evergrande’s long-term progress towards becoming an Asian superclub.
Coming on deadline day of the winter transfer window, Evergrande have ensured that they will enter the 2014 season as the major talking point in Chinese football. Besides the capture of Italy international Alessandro Diamanti, Lippi’s renewal is arguably the biggest news of the winter for the Super League.
It was a busy final day all around at the Tianhe Stadium, with the club also announcing the capture of 24-year-old Dalian Aerbin forward Dong Xuesheng. The former China Under-23 player will wear the No. 18 shirt for the club this season.