Sports / China

Lippi confirms Conca stay

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-07-15 07:30

GUANGZHOU - Guangzhou Evergrande coach Marcello Lippi confirmed that Argentinean midfielder Dario Conca would stay with the team, the Italian said on Saturday.

"Conca will stay in my team," Lippi said before derby match against Guangzhou and R&F.

"Conca plays an important role in the team. He played almost every match since I took charge of the team," he added.

But the Italian frequently replaced the Argentinean earlier in the match, who seemed to be unhappy every time when he was off the pitch.

The Argentinean proposed a transfer request to the club a week ago, but the club said they would not sell the anchor cheap, with two and a half years contract remain to fulfill.

Reports said Conca's former club Fluminense offered a transfer fee of 8.5 million dollars, but the Chinese Super League champions insisted that they would not suffer a loss on the Argentinean as they cost 10 million to acquire the 29-year old in 2011.

Lippi emphasized that the frequent replacement of Conca was just for technical reasons.

"We have to make changes in and between matches, so will make substitutes, not because of the condition of the player, but for the balance of the team," the 64-year-old Italian said.

In fact, Conca's bad temper has long been criticized since he joined the team. In May, the Argentinean launched a blistering attack on Evergrande's former coach Lee Jang-Soo after being hauled off on the hour mark during his side's AFC Champions League Group H clash with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. He was then suspended nine matches by the club but was relieved in the match against Thai league champions Buriram United only two weeks later, when Conca scored a winning penalty to send Guangzhou to the final 16 of AFC Champions league.

Before joining the Chinese club, Conca played for Fluminense in the Brazilian leauge. He scored nine goals and dished out 19 assists for the Brazilian team in 2010 and was elected for two consecutive years the best player of Brazilian league in 2009 and 2010.

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