Conca's future cloudy ... again

Updated: 2012-11-29 08:05

By Tang Zhe in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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Conca's future cloudy ... again

Guangzhou Evergrande denies that Argentine is going back to Brazil

The future of Dario Conca at Guangzhou Evergrande appears to be as muddled as ever.

The 29-year-old Argentine, who signed a 3 1/2 -year contract with the Chinese club, has variously indicated his intention to return to the Brazil league and also his desire to stay in China.

Once the most expensive player in the Chinese Super League (he's been surpassed by another Evergrande signing, Lucas Barrios, in May), Conca was absent from the team's year-end feast on Tuesday, which celebrated this season's CSL championship and Chinese FA Cup title.

Brazilian media reported that Conca emptied his apartment in Guangzhou as a sign of his intention to leave China, but Evergrande boss Xu Jiayin said no transfer in the offing.

"The club has contracts with all of its domestic and foreign players and from the perspective of the owner and the club, we will carry out our work strictly according to the contracts," Xu said.

"It's normal for players to think about whether to leave or stay, but for the club, and the group, we paid for the player's transfer and it is only possible to ink a new deal when the approaching club is willing to pay the same amount or even more money for a transfer.

"There is no need to talk if the offer is below the number," he said.

Head coach Marcello Lippi praised Conca's contribution to the team and said he hoped Conca would remain with his squad.

"Conca is a very outstanding player and he plays an important role in our team," said the 64-year-old Italian. "I expect him to stay with the team and fulfill the contract.

"If he wants to leave, we will talk with the club to see how to find someone to replace him," Lippi said.

The coach also clarified rumors that have linked him with the coaching post of the Ukrainian national team.

"I don't know where that news came from. Actually, it happened at least two years ago when the Ukraine football federation invited me to coach their national lineup," Lippi said. "I am very busy now, and I have no time to talk about this with them."

(China Daily 11/29/2012 page22)