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Changes on the horizon for Changchun Yatai

Changchun Yatai

The 2020 season is set to be one of change for Changchun Yatai, with reports linking players with moves to and from the club.

The winter transfer window began with numerous reports linking 2019 China League One MVP Tan Long with a move away from the Changchun City Stadium, with a move to a strong northern team in the top-tier rumoured.

A move to Beijing Guoan seemingly fell through and Tan Long appears to be remaining with the club, should no further approaches be made for him.

But one other veteran player appears to be on the verge of a big move back into the Chinese Super League, with rumours and reports suggesting that centre back Yu Rui is close to joining Shanghai SIPG.

The 27-year-old Benxi, Liaoning native has been a reliable presence in the heart of the defence, forming a strong partnership with Sun Jie since first arriving in 2017.

He led the defence during Sun Jie’s unsuccessful loan spell in Norway before seeing his regular partner return in the summer. With Zhang Xiaofei retiring, Yu Rui was a name that could have been linked with the club’s captaincy.

Losing the experienced defender will be a disappointing blow for new manager Samvel Babayan, who will have to set about finding a suitable replacement.

While the club could be losing one of their best players, there are a number of players being linked with moves to the northeastern club.

One such player is 22-year-old attacking midfielder Nan Song, who was recently released by K-League 2 club Bucheon FC 1995.

Nan Song, a Yanji, Jilin native, worked his way through the Yanbian Fude youth system before a move to Albirex Niigata. The same year, he was signed by Bucheon, but has struggled to feature for the first team in the Korean second tier.

He did have an impressive spell on loan to Chongqing Lifan back in 2017, making 27 appearances as a 20-year-old. Now that he has been released, he is free to join whichever club he likes and has been spotted training with Changchun Yatai.

This could be an ideal pairing for both club and player, with the club needing some promising players in the attacking midfield role while seeing Nan Song return to his home province.

Other, less reliable rumours have linked Changchun Yatai with moves for Beijing Guoan centre back Zhang Yu, potentially as a replacement for the soon-to-be departing Yu Rui and midfielder Hu Yangqiang, who has struggled to feature for Beijing since joining from Liaoning.

It appears that Babayan is getting closer to making some official moves and fans will be eager to see what type of team the Uzbek manager puts together ahead of what should be a promotion-chasing season.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and editor for Wild East Football. James is an avid fan of Changchun Yatai, having been a season-ticket holder in 2015, and has been involved with Wild East Football for a number of years.

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