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“Zizao” looks set to join Guoan

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.

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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