Chelsea have put forward a formal invitation for Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zhang Lingpeng, with the player claiming he’s set to join the Blues.
Quotes relayed by the Daily Mail reveal that Jose Mourinho has reportedly made a bid for the 26-year-old, with the player confident of moving to England sooner rather than later.
Lingpeng, who is also a fully fledged China international, made it clear that he would struggle to play in the Premier League immediately due to the issues regarding a work-permit for non-European players, but all the same he sounds excited about his looming transfer.
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"I'm very happy and very excited to finally have this formal invitation," Lingpeng said.
"I've worked hard and waited these five or six years for my dream of playing overseas, and finally have recognition from the English Premier League.
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"Although I'm unable to play Premier League directly, I believe (Chelsea) will have the most professional arrangements regarding my permit.
"I have no worries at all about the negotiations."
Just why Mourinho would turn to Lingpeng, who has no experience outside of the Chinese top division, remains to be seen, but it could be evidence that he’s finally halting the chase for Everton’s John Stones after four failed bids.
Even though the Everton defender has handed a formal transfer request to his current club his departure looks impossible in the coming days, and Mourinho needs more bodies at the back.
What the fans expect
Blues fans would be forgiven for expecting the Special One to target more illustrious names than Lingpeng - he as admittedly been likened to Sergio Ramos - and with the sure-to-be-ensuing work-permit complications the move doesn’t make sense if Mourinho wants someone in before Christmas.
What could therefore happen is that the Blues buy him this summer and loan him out to another European team to give him experience whilst he waits for the necessary permit, like Arsenal did with Wellington Silva.
That still doesn’t remedy the headache Mourinho has over Stones however, so we’re not sure on that front.
Chelsea fans, are you surprised the Blues have made an offer for Zingpeng? Let us know in the comments box below.