After spending two years on the sidelines at famed Brazilian side Corinithians, Chen Zhizhao, or “Zizao” as he was referred to in Brazil, is back in China and looks set to join Beijing Guoan.
Chen returned to China in December of last year after his transfer agreement with Corinthians, who were rumored to have only invited Chen for his marketing potential, expired and the Brazilian club decided against keeping him. He grudgingly reported to training at Shanghai Shenxin earlier this year, hoping to leave the club on a transfer but looking ready to give the Shanghai club another chance after previous transfer related differences.
A number of clubs were interested in the 25 year old midfielder, including Guangzhou R&F and Shandong Luneng, but it was reported that after a visit to the capital in December, his preferred destination was Beijing. It now seems the Men in Green are ready to pay a club record RMB20 million transfer fee for Chen, even though the youngster has played a combined total of two competitive matches in three years. Making things even more risky, Shenxin is muddling the discussions demanding that if Chen moves during his initial contract with Beijing, looking set to be for three years, the Shanghainese side will get a portion of the fee.
It is a real gamble Beijing appears to be taking by paying so much for Chen, will it be worth it? If he can score 10 goals like he did in his last CSL season in 2010, it certainly will be, but it has many shaking their heads. With four days left in the transfer window, it will be interesting if this one gets done in time.