HONG KONG (Reuters) - Fabio Cannavaro has resigned as head coach of Tianjin Quanjian, the Chinese Super League club said on Monday, fuelling speculation that the Italian is set to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari at champions Guangzhou Evergrande.
World Cup winner Cannavaro took over at Tianjin at the start of 2016, steering them to the second division title before securing third place in the CSL this season and a berth in next year’s Asian Champions League.
“After a request was submitted by Fabio Cannavaro and following discussions between both parties, Tianjin Quanjian have agreed Mr Cannavaro will not continue to be the head coach of the club,” Tianjin said in a statement on Monday.
“Since his appointment in 2016, Mr Cannavaro has completed his job as the head coach with great success and has accomplished the club’s targets for both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
“We sincerely thank Mr Cannavaro and his team for their contribution and wish him a bright future in his career and life.”
Cannavaro spent seven months as Guangzhou head coach prior to Scolari’s arrival and is now expected to return to the champions after the Brazilian decided not to sign an extension to his contract, which finishes at the end of the month.
The 44-year-old Italian succeeded Marcello Lippi at Guangzhou in late 2014 but was fired midway through the season and replaced by Scolari.
Paulo Sousa has been unveiled as the new Tianjin head coach.
Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Peter Rutherford