Coach Tigana joins Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua

Updated: 2011-12-20 17:50


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Coach Tigana joins Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua

Jean Amadou Tigana (R), Shanghai Shenghua's new coach and Zhou Jun (L), director of the Shanghai Shenhua football club, hold the team jersey during a press conference to announce Shenhua's signing of Tigana in shanghai, Dec 18, 2011. [Photo/CFP]

Former France international Jean Amadou Tigana has signed a one-year contract to coach Shanghai Shenhua, the Chinese Super League side that signed Chelsea striker and compatriot Nicolas Anelka last week.

The 56-year-old former manager of English Premier League club Fulham, who helped France win the 1984 European championship, held a news conference in Shanghai last Sunday after sealing the deal with club owner Zhou Jun.

Anelka's deal was reported to be in the region of $300,000 a week for two years and Tigana's salary may reach 2.5 million euros a year,according to some media reports.

But the Frenchman said he was not moving to China for the money. "I could have gone to England or to Turkey," he said, without giving any financial details of his move.

"I am privileged to be here. I found a new challenge here. This is not a financial choice - it is a sport and life decision."

Tigana, who quit as coach of French side Bordeaux this year, praised Anelka but would not respond to a suggestion that former Real Madrid midfielder Guti could also follow them to China.

"Firstly, Anelka's signing has been arranged before my arrival," Tigana said. "He is a very talented footballer who will bring a lot to the club. We cannot mention other names at the moment because we have not signed any other players."

Coach Tigana joins Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua

Shanghai Shenhua's new coach Tigana signs autograph for local fans as he arrives at the Shanghai Pudong airport in Shanghai, Dec 17, 2011. [Photo/CFP]

Tigana had 52 caps for France and he joined Michel Platini, Luis Fernandez and Alain Giresse in what was termed "the Magic Square" - one of the great midfield foursomes of all time.

He started his coaching career at Lyon between 1993 and 1995, before moving to AS Monaco. He also had coaching spells in English club Fulham and Turkish side Besiktas.

Fellow Frenchman Philippe Troussier is also managing a Chinese club, Shenzhen Ruby in southern China, while former Japan coach Takeshi Okada was appointed manager of Hangzhou Greentown on Thursday.

Shanghai Shenhua, backed by internet tycoon Zhu Jun's financial muscle, are showing they can compete with anyone in the transfer market and are now 72nd in the FIFA world rankings, but they only managed 11th in the league last season.