Changchun Yatai have made just one signing so far in the winter transfer window, Brazilian attacking midfielder Serginho.
The club has taken a long time to bring in domestic signings, with a number of players training and coming in on trial in recent weeks.
Nan Song, who has some experience in the Chinese Super League with Chongqing, was spotted training with the club a few weeks ago, while Beijing Guo’an duo Hu Yanqiang and Zhang Yu were both linked with moves to the north-eastern club.
News on Weibo recently suggested the Hu Yanqiang had officially rejected a contract offer from Beijing, leaving open the possibility for the young winger to still move to Samvel Babayan’s side.
But the most recent player trying to impress the Uzbek manager is Zhang Zijian, who has spent the past few seasons with Beijing Guo’an Reserves, captaining the side during the 2019 season.
The 22-year-old Liaoning native is primarily utilised as a centre back but is capable of stepping in front of the defensive line as a central defensive midfielder.
In a recent friendly match, Zhang Zijian lined up for Changchun Yatai at the left-back position, a spot on the team that still has some questions after Zhang Xiaofei’s retirement.
Some former Changchun Yatai players look to be available for transfers, with both He Chao and Pei Shuai reportedly needing new clubs after being deemed surplus to requirements at Guangzhou Evergrande and Tianjin Tianhai respectively.
With many of the players already linked with Changchun coming from Super League reserve teams, perhaps targeting these old fan favourites might be viewed as more ambitious and capable of helping the team win promotion back into the top tier.
With the start of the new season delayed due to concerns surrounding the recent Coronavirus outbreak, Babayan has time to make the right moves for his side but some movements will need to happen sooner rather than later to keep fans hopeful over the new season.