Mascherano in, Ramires out? And China U23 in hunt for AFC glory

Mascherano on the verge of joining Hebei

Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano has been linked with the CSL for quite some time now and now it seems to be closer than ever. Hebei China Fortune are looking to make a £7 million swoop and with Yerry Mina joining the Catalan giants on Thursday and Samuel Umtiti returning from injury Mascherano has fallen down the order.

Ramires outbound?

Jiangsu Suning had a horrible season last year and looked in danger of going down for a lot of the season but eventually survived. Now it looks like former Chelsea man Ramires is looking to jump ship. He has admitted that a return to Europe would be fantastic and that might come in the form of a loan move to Suning-owned Inter Milan in Italy. The Serie A outfit loaned Trent Sainsbury from Jiangsu last year, but hopefully Ramires would be a more successful singing, should he join.

Ramires told Sky Italy: “If I had to go back to Europe and do it in a big club like Inter, it would be a happy moment for me and my family, and if it happens I will be ready.

“The question of the hiring not only depends on me, there are different parties involved – the negotiations must satisfy both clubs. I hope we can reach an agreement and go to Inter.

“I must continue doing well here to hope to return to Europe.”

Ighalo could return to England

Another player that could be on his way out of the league is Changchun Yatai’s Odion Ighalo who could be set for a return to the Premier League as West Bromwich are reportedly looking for someone who knows where the goal is. Ighalo joined Changchun Yatai from Watford and scored 15 goals for Yatai last season.

U23’s in action at the AFC Championship while a familiar face returns

The Chinese U23 national team are currently hosting the AFC U23 Championship and it started great with a 3-0 win over Oman on Tuesday. Yesterday they lost their second game 1-0 to Uzbekistan. This means that should China beat Qatar in the final match they will advance to the knockout stages where they would face the runner-up of Group B, consisting of North Korea, Japan, Palestine and Thailand.

Speaking of the youngsters, yesterday the CFA announced that Bora Milutinovic, the coach who lead China to it’s one and only World Cup back in 2002, will be employed as a consultant on youth training.

Lippi could extend stay

And finally, some news from the senior side. Marcello Lippi revealed that the CFA has offered him a three-year extension to this current contract, which runs out at the end of the 2019 AFC Cup. Lippi says he would like to stay but that things might still change

“I would like to accept it, but since my current contract still has more than one year left on it, there may be changes of the situation during this period. Let’s see what will happen in the next couple of months,” Lippi told Chengdu Commercial Daily.

About the Author

Ola Bjerkevoll
Norwegian studying sports journalism in England. Lover of all football, especially Chinese, German and Oceanian. Twitter: @olabje