No offers for Conca, says Evergrande
Updated: 2012-07-10 07:46
By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (China Daily)
Disgruntled Argentine forward wants to head back to Brazil
Guangzhou Evergrande confirmed on Monday Dario Conca wants to leave the club despite there still being two years left on his contract, but the side denied there had been any official offers from Brazilian clubs.
The Argentine international, 29, who moved to Evergrande from Brazilian side Fluminense in a transfer deal worth $10 million in July last year, talked with the club about his intentions to leave on Thursday night, according to Liu Yongzhuo, the chairman of the team.
"We are very surprised that he wants to leave. He had talks with us and we will go all out to make him to stay.
"But so far, we have not received any formal offers from any Brazilian clubs," Liu told China Daily on Monday.
"We hope players can have direct talks with the club. And we do hope that the players can earn their places in the team through hard training and good performances."
In an interview with China Daily in mid-June, Conca said he wanted to go back to Fluminese after his contract with Evergrande ended.
However, he told Brazil-based newspaper Lancenet! last week that he wanted to return to Brazil during the transfer window of the Brazilian league, which closes on July 20.
"I'm not comfortable after a few problems that have already happened here," Conca said.
The Argentine midfielder, who was voted the best player in Brazil in 2009, appears to have lost his place in Evergrande's starting lineup after Italian World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi took over as manager in May.
Before Lippi's arrival, Conca had also been suspended for nine matches and fined 1 million yuan ($159,000) for criticizing former coach Lee Jang-soo after being taken off the pitch during an AFC Champions League match against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on May 1.
The Argentine has so far scored seven goals with the Guangzhou team in the Chinese Super League. But he did not play in its 1-1 draw against Shanghai Shenxin on Saturday.
"But so far nothing had been confirmed," Conca was quoted as saying by Lancenet!.
Lancenet! reported major clubs in Brazil, including Fluminense and Internacional, had begun negotiations with Conca.
"It makes me proud that two major clubs in Brazil want me. I left Brazil a year ago. But now I have told myself that priority would be given to Fluminense if I want to come back," he said.
Conca is currently vacationing with his family, according to Cheng Siyuan, his translator.
"His wife has told me that she supports Conca's decision to return to Brazil," Cheng said.
Cheng said Conca has not decided if he will pay compensation to Evergrande if he terminates his contract prematurely.
"Some media reports said he will pay compensation in order to return to Brazil as soon as possible. But he had an interview with the Brazilian media and he did not say anything like that," Cheng said.
Despite what could be a tumultuous farewell, Conca believes China's soccer is heading in the right direction.
"The level of the Chinese league is improving thanks to a number of big international names coming here and huge investments that have been poured into the sector by Chinese companies over the past two seasons," he said.
(China Daily 07/10/2012 page23)