x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Lampard in China switch frame as Guizhou Renhe confirm transfer talks

The Chelsea midfielder could follow in the footsteps of former teammates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka after the Super League side confirmed they had opened talks over a transfer.

Frank Lampard in action for Chelsea
Frank Lampard in action for Chelsea

Chelsea star Frank Lampard could be set to follow in the footsteps of former teammates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka with a lucrative move to Chinese football after Guizhou Renhe confirmed they were in talks with him.

The England international midfielder has been regularly been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League this year.

But speculation intensified after Renhe chairman Dai Yongge was quoted in the domestic press on Saturday as saying that Lampard had signed.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo played down the reports after his side's 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

But a Renhe official confirmed in a brief statement that talks with Lampard were underway.

"Yes, we are in contact with Lampard but so far nothing has been settled," said deputy board chairman Yang Xiaoyu.

Dai was quoted by the state-run China Daily as saying Lampard would join Renhe as captain in January.

A winter arrival would give the 34-year-old time to settle in before the 2013-14 Chinese Super League season begins in March.

High-flying Renhe qualified for their first AFC Champions League competition with a fourth-place finish in the league, which ended last week.

The club is based in Guiyang in the southwestern province of Guizhou. It is bankrolled by Dai, who is boss of underground shopping centre developer Renhe Commercial Holdings Company.

China has become an attractive destination for football stars approaching the end of their careers.

Ivory Coast striker Drogba and former France international Anelka play for Shanghai Shenhua on contracts said to be worth $300,000 (Dh1.2m) a week.

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