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Chinese Transfer Update – All The Moves Up Until Deadline Day

The CSL winter transfer window closed on February 27th and clubs have been busy making last ditch deals to improve their sides for 2015. In mid-February we brought you a comprehensive update of all the transfer deals so far completed (part 1 and part 2) and this is confirmation of the main moves made since then. While the most eye-catching transfers took place earlier in the winter, there are still plenty of juicy acquisitions to look at including the big move of an Asian Cup hero, the arrival of a World Cup star and an old friend of Neymar’s turning up in an unexpected place.

Guangzhou Evergrande

False Dawn: Feng Renliang's move to Evergrande hasn't turned out how he might have hoped

False Dawn: Feng Renliang’s move to Evergrande hasn’t turned out how he might have hoped

IN: – Evergrande did more than enough earlier in the transfer window to consolidate their position as the Super League’s biggest spenders. Since our last update, their only signing has been 21-year-old Wang Shangyuan who joined from Club Brugges on deadline day. After two years in Belgium, largely spent with the reserves, the attacking midfielder returns to China but is unlikely to make an immediate impact due to Evergrande’s deep squad. Definitely one for the future.

OUT: – Another 21-year-old attacking midfielder, Hu Weiwei has been moved on to League One outfit Qingdao Jonoon. Midfielder Peng Xinli has been loaned out to Chongqing Lifan, while one time Shanghai Shenhua starlet Feng Renliang has been sent to Guizhou Renhe for the season. After impressing as a youngster with Shenhua and breaking into the international squad, Feng moved to Evergrande in time for the 2013 season, but failed to establish himself in the first team and was loaned to Changchun Yatai in the second half of last year.

Beijing Guo’an

IN: – No more new arrivals at Gongti.

OUT: – Youth team product Yang Yun has been loaned to Lianing Whowin for the season. The 25-year-old defender has failed to establish himself as a regular in the senior squad and has moved further down the pecking order following the addition of some new defenders earlier in the window. The only other departure is the confirmed exit of striker Peter Utaka. The Nigerian was a huge disappointment after arriving from Dalian Aerbin in the summer of 2013 and spent the second half of last season on loan with Shanghai Shenxin. With Guo’an’s quota of foreigners already full, Utaka’s departure was inevitable and he bids farewell to China by moving to Shimizu S-Pulse of the J-League.

Guangzhou R&F

R&F had to get their squad together early in order to prepare for their protracted Champions’ League qualifying campaign, and so nothing has changed since our last update.

Shandong Luneng

IN: – A quiet transfer window means that Diego Tardelli remains Luneng’s only signing of the winter.

OUT: -With such a deep squad, it’s not surprising that Luneng have continued to trim in order to comply with the new rule only allow twenty-five domestic squad members in 2015. The most notable exit has been that of veteran centre back Du Wei who leaves Jinan to once again link up with former Luneng coach Radomir Antic at League One’s new big spenders Hebei CFFC. The 33-year-old was a long time China international, even featuring in the 2002 World Cup, but fell out of favour in the second half of last season.

He’ll be joined at Hebei by goalkeeper Yang Cheng who has spent more than ten years with Luneng and young midfielder Luo Senwen who moves on loan. Finally, the defensive pair of Mi Haolun and Wu Haoran, both in their early twenties, have move to newly promoted Shijiazhuang Ever Bright, the former on loan.

Shanghai SIPG

International Quality: Yu Hai (facing camera) celebrates his goal against Saudi Arabia

International Quality: Yu Hai (facing camera) celebrates his goal against Saudi Arabia

IN: – After a busy start to the transfer window, SIPG went quiet for a while but sprang back into life as deadline day approached. Their capture of international Yu Hai from Guizhou Renhe is one of the biggest domestic signings of the window. The 27-year-old, who usually plays on the left wing but can also play up front, is the only member of China’s 2015 Asian Cup squad to move clubs this winter and, somewhat fortuitously, scored the winning goal in the opening group game against Saudi Arabia.

Ivorian attacker Jean Evrard Kouassi arrives from Croatian club Hadjuk Split. At just 20, Kouassi was bought for €2 million, but, with Tobias Hysen, Davi and Dario Conca already in the squad, he is likely to mostly be used from the bench this season.

The final signing is Yang Boyu who was picked up from relegated Dalian Aerbin for 6.5 million RMB. The 25-year-old was very highly rated a couple of years ago with Evergrande reportedly ready to bid 20 million for him in 2013. Subsequently, Yang’s career has been derailed by injury and he will be looking to get himself back on track in Shanghai.

OUT: – Their have been no new departures, meaning not a single domestic player has been let go thus far.

Guizhou Renhe

IN: – Renhe got most of their business done by the middle of December, and since our last updated their only edition has been that of Feng Renliang on loan from Evergande.

OUT: – Yu Hai‘s late move to Shanghai SIPG is bad news for the Guiyang outfit. Barring a two year soiree in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem, Yu had spent the entirety of his career with the club and leaves a significant hole in the starting line-up.

Tianjin TEDA

There is absolutely no doubt that Hernan Barcos has signed with Tianjin TEDA

There is absolutely no doubt that Hernan Barcos has signed with Tianjin TEDA

IN: – TEDA’s main focus in February has been replenishing their foreign playing staff. 2009 Super League golden boot winner Hernan Barcos arrives from Gremio for a fee of €2.65 million. After the Brazilian club convened a press conference to announce the 30-year-old was leaving for an unspecified Chines club, Brazilian media mistakenly reported that the Argentinian was bound for Changchun Yatai and this was picked up by several Chinese sites including Sina and this one (whoops).

Barcos will be joined in the Tianjin attack by 24-year-old Colombian Wilmar Jordan who arrives from Bulgarian side Litex Lovech. Morteza Pouraliganji rounds out the foreign contingent after arriving from Naft Tehran in his native Iran. The 22-year-old is a highly rated centre back who played every minute of Iran’s Asian Cup campaign following an impressive display for the under-23s at the 2014 Asian Games.

OUT: – None

Jiangsu Sainty

Grandest Stage: Sainty's new signing Sammir featured for Croatia against Cameroon in last summer's World Cup

Grandest Stage: Sainty’s new signing Sammir featured for Croatia against Cameroon in last summer’s World Cup

IN: – Sainty are another team which left it late to fill out their foreign contingent, with the deadline day signing of Croatian international Sammir something for Jiangsu fans to get excited about. The naturalised Brazilian was included in Croatia’s 2014 World Cup squad, playing in one game, and arrives for €5 million from a Getafe team currently carrying out a fire sale of their best players instigated by financial problems.

Sammir will be joined in Sainty’s frontline by another naturalised South American, Sergio Escudero, who was born to Argentinian parents but now holds a Japanese passport. The 26-year-old arrives after two seasons with FC Seoul for whom he scored in the first leg of the 2013 Asian Champions’s League final against Guangzhou Evergrande. The final signing is that of Icelandic centre back Solvi Ottesen who arrives from Russian club Ural. The 31-year-old is a regular in the Iceland squad and has won 26 caps for his country.

OUT: – To make way for Samir and Escudero, Brazilian forward Elias has been moved on. In his solitary season in Nanjing, the 28-year-old managed just 7 goals in 28 appearances and is unlikely to be greatly missed by the club.
Otherwise, midfielder Deng Zhuoxiang‘s transfer to rivals Shanghai Shenhua is the only other departure. The former international’s career was disrupted by injury after arriving in Nanjing in 2012 and last season marked the first time he was able to compete in a majority of the club’s games.

Shanghai Shenhua

IN: – Shenhua were very active early on and the signing of Deng Zhuoxiang has been their only transfer in recent weeks. They will be hoping that the 26-year-old can recapture the form which saw him included in China’s 2011 Asian Cup squad.

OUT: – No more significant exits from Hongkou.

Liaoning Whowin

IN: – It took Liaoning a while to get going, but they have completed five signings in the last week. Korean centre back Kim Joo-yin returns to the club where he spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons following two years playing in Thailand, most recently with Bangkok United. Another edition to the centre of defense is Hong Kong international Fofo. The 35-year-old was born in Ghana, but holds a passport for the autonomous region, meaning that he doesn’t count as a foreign player. He arrives after a very brief spell at Sun Pegasus, but spent 2014 in the Super League with Harbin Yiteng.

To further bolster the defence, Yang Yun has been brought in on loan from Beijing Guo’an, while midfielder Qin Sheng returns to the club where he spent the 2011 season after falling out of favour with Guangzhou Evergrande and being released earlier in the winter.

The final signing is that of Ivorian forward Franck Boli who arrives after three seasons with Norwegian club Stabaek. At only 21, time is definitely on his side, but the player is somewhat of an unknown quantity.

OUT: – Nobody has left the club since our last update.

Shanghai Shenxin

Friends In High Places: Ze Eduardo partnered a young Neymar to win the Copa Libetadores with Santos

Friends In High Places: Ze Eduardo partnered a young Neymar to win the Copa Libetadores with Santos

IN: – Shenxin made a couple of late additions to their squad in the shape of Brazilian forward Ze Eduardo and Huang Wei. Ze Eduardo signs from Genoa of Serie A, although he spent 2014 on loan in Brazil with Cortiba. Now 27, he won the Copa Libetadores while partnering Neymar in the Santos attack in 2011 and, in 2012, reportedly had strong interest from both West Ham United and AC Milan. Over the last couple of years, Ze Eduardo’s career seems to have been on the wane, but he certainly has an interesting CV.

Huang returns to China after two years in the Portugese Segunda Liga with Benfica B and, most recently, Farense. The 21-year-old has never played for a Chinese club, but has represented the nation at under-23 level.

Hangzhou Greentown

IN: – No more transfers in after a busy window for Greentown.

OUT: – The only move out sees new arrival Steve go on loan to League One’s Yanbian Changbaishan. The young Gambian striker barely had time to settle in Zhejiang but, as we highlighted in the last update, Greentown’s unexpected re-signing of Anselmo Ramon after a year on loan meant they had one too many foreign players and Steve was deemed superfluous.

Changchun Yatai

IN: – At around the same time it was confirmed that Hernan Barcos would be moving to Tianjin instead of Changchun, Yatai announced the signing of Bolivian international Marcelo Martins Moreno. The confusion with Barcos may have been caused by the fact that Moreno also arrived from Gremio for a similar fee.

Yatai also made the very late announcement that they had picked up midfielder Zhu Yifan who was released by Henan Jianye earlier in the winter. The 27-year-old, formerly of Beijing Guo’an, was a regular in Jianye’s starting line-up in the latter half of last season.

OUT: – Right back Lv Jianjun departs the club for Henan Jianye after seven years service. The 29-year-old played every league minute he was eligible for last season – only missing one game through suspension.

Henan Jianye

IN: – Aside from the acquisition of Lv Jianjun mentioned directly above, Jianye rounded out a busy transfer window with two foreign signings from Korean clubs. The first is Ivo, a Brazilian attacking midfielder who arrives from Incheon United for €300,000. The second is Korean centre back Jung In-whan who made 17 appearance for K-League champions Jeonbuk Hundai Motors in 2014 and comes to Zhengzhou for a fee of €800,000.

OUT: – To make way for the new foreigners, Sierra Leone international Gibril Sankoh departs after two years as the club’s first choice centre back. Sankoh’s exit makes Henan the only Super League team to go into the new season with all five foreign players changed from the year before.

One other departure of sorts is that of midfielder Zhang Li. It was originally reported that Zhang had been part of Jianye’s earlier cull of squad members but, apparently, he has been maintained on the club;s books and will be loaned out to League One outfit Wuhan Zall in 2015.

Chongqing Lifan

Patriot: Chongqing's new signing Issam El Adoua is a Moroccan international

Patriot: Issam El Adoua is a Moroccan international

IN: – There’s been little domestic activity in Chongqing but, after a slow start due to the uncertainty surrounding their future, the club have managed to fill their foreign quota before the transfer deadline. Moroccan international centre back Issam El Adoua arrives on a free transfer after a spell in La Liga with Levante, and it seems he will be partnered in the middle of defense by Australian Adrian Leijer who signs from Melbourne Victory.

Lifan’s final signing of the window is Argentinian striker Emmanuel Gigliotti. It’s the 27-year-old’s first time out of South America and he arrives after a two year spell with Boca Juniors.

OUT: – Nobody of note has been let go by Lifan since our last report.

Shijiazhuang Ever Bright

IN: – Shijiazhuang have continued to strengthen as thoroughly as their budget will allow, with their foreign contingent being rounded out by a pair of South Americans acquired from Portugal. Venezuelan forward Mario Rondon moves to Hebei from Nacional after an entire career spent in the Portuguese leagues. 28-year-old Brazilian Roberto Defendi is also making the move from Portugal after joining from Vitoria for €500,000. Once on the books at Tottenham, the player has had a bit of a stop-start career but, if nothing else, may have taken Shanghai Shenhua’s Stoplilla Sunzu’s crown as the Super League’s most aptly named centre back.

Elsewhere, youth has been the order of the day. Young defenders Mi Haolun and Wu Haoran have both arrived from Shandong Luneng. The former has come in on loan and, as is common with Shandong youth team products, has recently featured for the Chinese under-22 team. A final signing is that of 19-year-old midfielder Chen Cheng who arrives after gaining experience with Mafra in Portugal’s lower leagues.

OUT: – No more exits from Shijiazhuang’s shallow squad.

Based in China for five years, Jamie has been exploring tiny little third tier Hubei cities without football teams or decent internet connections, but is now a regular at China League One side Wuhan Zall. A keen football afficionado, he regularly takes in the Chinese Super League, enjoying matches in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Nanjing. Jamie is also a keen observer of the fortunes of the Chinese National side.

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