As the Chinese Super League season nears its close, the never-ending transfer rumour mill that Chinese football is best-known for is beginning to whirl more intensely. The difference in season schedule that the CSL has in comparison to Europe means Chinese clubs have a couple of months between the end of their campaign and the opening of the European transfer windows in January to put together their 2018 squad plans. Recent reports have therefore been packed with speculation regarding player departures and arrivals in the Far East, with fans intrigued about which football star will be the next to earn mega money in the CSL.
TEDA look to tie down Ghanaian star for good
Starting with a player who has already become familiar with the CSL though, and it is believed that Tianjin TEDA have been impressed with Frank Acheampong during his loan spell from Anderlecht and would like to act on their option to buy the winger. Acheampong joined Teda on a six-month loan deal that expires at the end of this calendar year and has featured in eight games scoring three goals.
Some were surprised when the 24-year-old made the move to China from Anderlecht where he has played over 100 games including some appearances in the UEFA Champions League, but having already experienced Asian football during his time playing in Thailand, Acheampong insisted the move was right for him and that a return to Europe was always possible. It is no secret that the Ghanaian international would like to play in the Premier League at some point, but that doesn’t make his immediate future any clearer.
Given that TEDA supposedly have an option to buy following this loan deal, it appears the ball is firmly in their court. Acheampong’s agent has also been quoted by outlets in Ghana stating that the player is more than happy to stay in China where he has been enjoying his football under new manager Uli Stielike.
“Frank is under contract in China until December 31. By that time, the leaders will decide whether to raise the option or not. What I can say to you is that Frank is now feeling very good in China and he is happy to evolve in this championship where he meets big stars every week.”
“The club was badly loaded in the league and the coach had no more control over the locker room. A new coach arrived and he put the order back.”
Ramires loan looking increasingly likely
Another player caught up in loan-related speculation is Jiangsu Suning’s Ramires, who, as we have previously reported, is likely to temporarily join Inter in January. Suning group, who of course own Jiangsu Suning, also own Inter meaning a deal for Ramires will be relatively easy to complete and very beneficial for The Beneamata given the Brazilian’s strong experience of top-level football with Chelsea.
Italian outlets suggest Inter won’t be spending large amounts of money this January meaning this is a low-cost deal that Luciano Spaletti would likely be in favour of, given the versatility and incredible energy Ramires can bring to any side. Now 30 years of age, Ramires would be able to begin training with Inter as soon in just a couple of weeks when the CSL season ends. It is claimed Inter are not worried about the amount of time Ramires has spent outside of European football since leaving Chelsea, with Barcelona’s Paulinho a clear example that players can maintain their performance levels while playing in China.
SIPG preparing ambitious bid for Serie A leading scorer
Finally, as you can always count on when it comes to the CSL, there’s a far-fetched rumour regarding a big money move for a top player. However, as we have seen in the cases of Oscar, Carlos Tevez, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Alex Teixeira and others, such deals do happen which is why they remain interesting.
On this occasion, the report comes from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, who claim Shanghai SIPG are readying a €70 million bid for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile. If true, the pursuit is an extremely ambitious one given that Immobile has been invaluable to his current side and leads the Serie A scoring charts having bagged an impressive 13 goals in just 10 games.
As well as paying the monster transfer fee, SIPG are also rumoured to be willing to double Immobile’s current €3 million annual salary. Even if such figures are on the table though, it remains very unlikely that either Lazio or Immobile himself would be open to the deal given that the Italian is enjoying the form of his life.