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China Daily Website

Guangzhou Evergrande denies Lippi link

Updated: 2012-03-05 09:58
( Xinhua)

GUANGZHOU, China - China's super league defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande denied the link with Italian coach Marcello Lippi on Sunday.

"We have no contact with Marcello Lippi," a club top official who asked for anonymity said to Xinhua.

One of Italian's top newspapers on football, La Gazzetta Dello Sport reported on Saturday that Guangzhou Evergrande had offered more than $10 million a year, hoping to bring the Italian legend to China.

"Rumors about Lippi are unreal, I think the fans in China are too eager to see a foreign world-class coach," the club's official said.

The 56-year old South Korean coach Lee Jang-soo joined the club in 2010, when Guangzhou was struggling in the second division. Lee led the team to China's top league and claimed the Champions in 2011. The team also won the CFA Super Cup in February.

Lee and his team are doing final preparations in South Korea for their first match in AFC Champions League. Lee's job will be safe only if he could make the final eight of the Champions league, the basic goal that was set by the Club's owner Xu Jiayin.

The club's owner Xu Jiayin also promised to pour in more than $100 million for the team this year as they set sight to international fame after winning first CSL title. Last season, Argentine Dario Conca smashed the league record of $10 million to join Guangzhou Evergrande, the club also splashed out 7.5 million on Brazilian forward Cleo and Muriqui.

Compared to such numbers, Lippi's 10 million wouldn't be a problem.

Lippi, the 64-year-old former Juventus coach has collected five Italian league titles and one European Champions League title. He led Italy National team to win the 2006 World Cup and has been out of work since ending his second stint as Azzurri boss in 2010.

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