The Chinese transfer window officially opens on January 1, but clubs have wasted little time in making preparations for the 2015 season in the transfer market.
With the opportunity to recruit open until 27 February, there is plenty of time for clubs to further strengthen. But, here, Wild East Football rounds up the early movement in what is surely set to be another busy market for Super League sides.
Guizhou Renhe were the first side to make a splash in the foreign player market this season, signing a pair of forwards from the Swedish Allsvenskan.
Brazilian Ricardo Santos joins from Atvidabergs after enjoying the best season of his career in 2014, scoring 15 goals, while he is joined by versatile forward Magnus Eriksson. Heading out the door in Guiyang, meanwhile, are Zvjezdan Misimovic, Mike Hanke and Jonas Salley, who the latter of whom will likely join the new Shanxi Wuzhou side in Xian.
Salley’s berth as the side’s AFC registered player will be filled by 30-year-old Korean defender Park Ju-Sung, signed from K-League side Gyeongnam FC.
AFC Champions League qualifiers Guangzhou R&F announced their new manager prior to Christmas as Getafe’s Cosmin Contra, best known for his playing career with the likes of AC Milan. At the Yuexiushan, Contra is joined by former Getafe colleague Michel Herrera, who replaces the departed attacking midfielder Davi—likely bound for Shanghai SIPG.
SIPG, complete with new owners, will hope to build on the foundation laid by Xu Genbao with his East Asia side and kick on to challenge at the top of the league this campaign. Aiding them in that quest will be Sven-Goran Eriksson, joined from R&F, as well as recently signed Korean international centre-back Kim Ju-Young of FC Seoul.
Completing the early transfer activity in the Super League this week were Hongkou-based moneybags Shanghai Shenhua. The capture of 25-year-old former Arsenal trialist Stoppila Sunzu from Sochaux may have been greeted with despair by fans in his homeland of Zambia, but could he be the commanding centre-back Shenhua need to truly launch their new era?
The big news of the domestic market has focused on 2014 runners-up Beijing Guoan who saw star attacking midfielder Zhang Xizhe head to Europe in a much-publicised switch to the Bundesliga. The capital side, though, have acted swiftly to secure a replacement in the shape of former Benfica player Yu Dabao, fresh from a tough season with relegated Dalian Aerbin.
Another player heading out at the Gongti, meanwhile, is R&F-bound centre-back Yu Yang, who will be joined in Contra’s side by ageing Hangzhou Greentown talent Wang Song. Philippe Troussier’s new side, meanwhile, strengthened their ranks with midfielder Huang Xiyang of Henan Jianye.
Four-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande predictably wasted little time in entering the domestic player market as they signed Qingdao left-back or central midfielder Zou Zheng and Dalian Aerbin’s international midfielder Zhang Jiaqi on Christmas eve. The pair continue Evergrande’s efforts to rejuvenate their long established Chinese core with departures expected.
Full-back Sun Xiang is reportedly close to announcing a move to Shanghai SIPG, while midfielder Zhao Xuri and full-back Rong Hao are familiar faces also linked with a move away from the Tianhe Stadium.
Shenhua have been the most active on the domestic player front, confirming four new arrivals in the shape of Shenxin attacking midfielder Wang Yun, Evergrande defender Li Jianbin, Henan full-back Zhang Lu and Shandong winger Lü Zheng.
Goalkeeper Geng Xiaofeng has been confirmed on a permanent basis from Shandong following his loan spell last season, not affecting this year’s transfer allocation and leaving one further space for a domestic addition in 2015.
The final big news of the 2015 winter window thus far has been the confirmed departure of veteran defender Sun Jihai from Guizhou. Chongqing and Dalian Aerbin are mooted destinations for the 37-year-old former Manchester City man ahead of what appears to be somewhat of a changing of the guard in the Super League’s furthest South-West club.
From all at Wild East Football, enjoy your New Year celebrations and have a prosperous CSL-filled 2015!
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