HONG KONG (Reuters) - Seven-times Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande have denied they are ready to make a huge bid for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and maintain that
they are focusing on young, homegrown talent.
Chinese media had reported that Guangzhou and Beijing Guoan were both looking to sign the Gabon international for some 70 million euros ($83.4 million), prompting China’s FA to issue a statement reminding domestic clubs of the levies to be imposed on those spending heavily on foreign talent.
Regulations were put in place last year imposing a 100 percent tax on transfer fees over $70 million for foreign players in a bid to curb spending on foreign players.
Evergrande said in a statement late on Wednesday that they had no plans to spend significant sums on players from overseas.
“Since 2017, we have set out clear principals to sign foreign players who compliment Chinese football and we refuse to pay a premium for any player,” the club said.
“Neither will we join in bidding wars in the transfer market as we are now switching our focus to youth development.
“We will stick to the Evergrande model of building a fully linked youth system to realise our vision of fielding a fully Chinese squad by 2020 to ensure we can consistently contribute to a healthy, stable and sustainable environment for Chinese football.”
Fabio Cannavaro was appointed Guangzhou’s head coach in November and the Italian has been charged with leading the transition to an entirely Chinese squad by chairman Xu Jianyin.
Their main business in the current transfer window has seen them sign highly rated domestic trio Deng Hanwen, Tang Shi and Yang Liyu, all of whom are aged under 23.
Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Peter Rutherford