New Chinese FA Rule Thwarts Costa, Benzema, Cavani Move to China

Home   /   New Chinese FA Rule Thwarts Costa, Benzema, Cavani Move to China

first_imgPreviously, teams were allowed to field an Asian player in addition to three non-Asian foreigners, but that spot in the starting line-up will now be taken by a Chinese player under the age of 23. Clubs must also include a second Chinese player under 23 in their matchday squads.“In order to realise ‘The General Plan of Chinese Football Reform and Development’ and to benefit the overall development of Chinese football and Chinese local players, to enhance the quality of the national team and to keep the professional league on a healthy, stable and consistent track, the CFA has adjusted the regulations of the 2017 Chinese Super League and the China League,” the statement said.The new regulations were drawn up during a meeting of the CFA’s Professional Leagues Committee in Wuhan on Sunday before clubs were informed of the ruling. The current transfer window opened on Jan. 1 and many of the 16 Chinese Super League clubs have already signed their full quota of foreign players ahead of the league’s opening round on March 4.Tianjin Quanjian owner Shu Yuhui confirmed the cashed-up Chinese Super League outfit had plans to sign Diego Costa, Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao until China’s Football Association (CFA) made changes to the limit of foreigners.Having already lured Belgium international Axel Witsel to the CSL, Tianjin – coached by former Real Madrid and Juventus defender Fabio Cannavaro – had been linked with further moves for Chelsea’s Costa & Co.And Shu revealed Tianjin had been in talks with the Spain international, Real Madrid striker Benzema, Paris Saint-Germain’s Cavani and Monaco hitman Falcao before the CFA announced new rules regarding foreign players, with teams in the CSL forced to name only three of their imports in starting XIs from this season.“Our club had a massive investment plan for the new season but it was tightened up by the new rules,” Shu told Tianjin Sports Channel.“We need an out-and-out striker so we made a bid for Benzema. We also made an attempt for Falcao.“As a matter of fact, the club had even prepared the contracts for Falcao and [Benfica striker] Raul Jimenez. We had already reached agreement with them on wages and bonus. The pair were expected to sign the contracts, but the new rules forced us to give up on them.”Delving deeper into Tianjin’s transfer plans, Shu revealed meetings with Jorge Mendes, whose clients include Cristiano Ronaldo among others.“I made an appointment with Mendes and he came to my hometown to visit me. At that time, we were interested in signing Costa,” he added.“PSG told us Cavani would only be allowed to leave in June, even though the player himself was willing to join us. The same can be said for Costa because Chelsea would only let him leave in June. However, the new season of CSL will almost reach the halfway stage in June, we can’t wait so long.”While the arrivals of these players appear unlikely, Fiorentina star Nikola Kalinic is nearing a move to Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin.“We are currently discussing whether to hold onto [former Brazil international] Luis Fabiano,” Shu said. “But Cannavaro told us he preferred Kalinic, who would perfectly fit into the team’s style of play.”Tianjin are set to play in China’s top flight in 2017 after Cannavaro guided the club to promotion last season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram WINTER TRANSFERChinese Super League clubs’ player recruitment plans for the coming season were thrown into disarray on Monday morning as the Chinese Football Association confirmed last week’s reports it would limit the number of foreign players permitted to play in the 2017 season.In a statement published on the federation’s website, the CFA announced clubs would be permitted to field a maximum of three foreign players per game, with that quota including players from within the area governed by the Asian Football Confederation.last_img

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