Tianjin Quanjian manager Fabio Cannavaro has said he turned the opportunity to sign Marouane Fellaini from Manchester United during the Chinese Super League’s transfer window last month.
Cannavaro led Tianjin Quanjian into the top flight of Chinese football at the end of last season and who will kick off their first season in the CSL on Saturday against Guangzhou R&F
“There are a lot of good Belgian players in the national team who might be interested in playing in China,” the Italian World Cup winner said. “I’m looking for someone around 28, 29 years old. The regulations of the Chinese league have changed and although Fellaini was offered to us by his agent, I told them I was looking for other types.
“We had been talking to Dries Mertens. But when we are still in discussion, he suddenly starting scoring for Napoli, but there was no outcome to our discussions.”
Cannavaro also claimed he would like to take Everton striker Romelu Lukaku to the Chinese Super League, even though he realised the likelihood of the former Chelsea man joining Tianjin was slim.
“We may talk to Everton about Romelu Lukaku but I doubt if they will let him go,” he said. “He has had some great achievements despite being only 23.
“He is young I know, but that wouldn’t be an issue for him to come here. Actually he might be perfect for China’s league. Look at Oscar, he transferred to Shanghai SIPG at 25. Football is everywhere.”