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Chinese Football Association (CFA)

Evergrande quick to curb Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rumours after concerned CFA threatens action over ‘bidding war’

Chinese Super League champions release official statement distancing themselves from move for wantaway Borussia Dortmund striker

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2018, 6:10pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2018, 6:10pm

Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande have flatly denied they were trying to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and have threatened to sue the media for fabricating the rumour.

In a public announcement made on Tuesday, the seven-time title winners said the reports of offering an “inappropriate amount of adjustment fee” laid down by the Chinese Football Association to secure a player from the German top flight side was “totally untrue”.

“The report was already rejected by the relevant German club when they were interviewed by their own media,” the club said. “Our club always strictly follow the rules of the CFA of signing players and reserve the rights for legal action against those media”.

The Chinese heavyweights did not name Aubameyang in the statement, but it was a clear reference to the 28-year-old France-born Gabon international.

Over the weekend, there were reports saying Evergrande and Beijing Guoan were battling to sign the Dortmund striker with the reported bidding war raising the concerns of the CFA, which said in a statement, “The news of two clubs suspected of engaging in a bidding war on a transfer has caused social concern,” it said, adding that it was “highly concerned” and had asked them to explain.

Then a Beijing television sports commentator said Guoan could never get Aubameyang because Evergrande would offer 20 per cent more than whatever amount Guoan could spend after reports saying Evergrande finally secured their targeted player for a Chinese record fee of 72 million (US$86 million).

The reported fee would be subject to the 100 per cent tax imposed by the CFA last season as it vastly exceeds the RMB 45 million (US$6.9 million) limit for foreign player transfers.

It would also beat the Chinese transfer record set by Shanghai SIPG when they signed Brazil international Oscar from Premier League Chelsea for 60 million. Oscar’s transfer took place before the rule was introduced.

According to the rule, “loss making” clubs have to pay a 100 per cent tax to the CFA’s development fund on the transfer of foreign players that exceeds RMB 45 million.