South China's Chan Wai-ho considers mainland China move

Chan Wai-ho says he is 50-50 on whether he will be with South China next season

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 June, 2013, 4:35am

South China captain Chan Wai-ho admits his chances of staying with the Hong Kong champions next season are only 50-50 after having received a contract offer by a Chinese Super League club.

Defender Chan, 30, is understood to have been approached by a club in the northeast of the mainland and to be close to agreeing to terms, although he said he was keeping all his options open.

"I am no longer young and if I miss the chance of playing abroad this year, I don't think there will be another one," said the reliable centre-half, who won the most-favourite-player award in the 2013 Footballer of the Year vote.

"On the other hand, South China will be playing in the AFC Cup next season and it would certainly be a great challenge to lead the club in the regional competition. Coupled with the opportunity of playing in this summer's Barclays Asia Trophy, it has made it difficult to choose."

South China will meet Premier League giants Manchester City in the opening match of the biennial tournament on July 24.

Chan, also the Hong Kong team captain, said he had yet to speak to South China as his contract with the club ends in July.

The Hong Kong team play the Philippines in a friendly on Tuesday as part of their build-up to the 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers.

South China convenor Steven Lo Kit-sing strongly hinted that the club wanted to keep the player, especially with the almost certain departure of another defender, Lee Chi-ho.

"Lee is likely to join the China Super League as there are only some minor details for him to iron out with his new employer," Lo said. "He wants to try his luck in a higher-level competition and we wish him well."

Lee, 29, who can play either on the right or in central defence, is set to join Beijing Guoan.

Another South China player, goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai, has been offered a four-year contract by Guizhou Renhe, who are third on the Super League table.

"We will release Yapp only if we can find the right replacement, but so far, we have yet to find one," said Lo, who also confirmed midfielder Joao Emir, who left the club last season, would return after having recovered from a knee injury.