Sports / Soccer

Lippi on Brazilian scouting mission for Guangzhou Evergrande

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-02 09:14

Lippi on Brazilian scouting mission for Guangzhou Evergrande

Guangzhou Evergrande's Italian coach Marcello Lippi is tossed in the air by his players as they celebrate their victory at the end of the Chinese Super League vs Shandong Luneng Taishan on Nov 2, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

RIO DE JANEIRO -- World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi is currently in Brazil on a scouting mission for China's Guangzhou Evergrande.

The 66-year-old stood down as Evergrande manager last month after guiding the club to four successive Chinese Super League titles.

But he remains the club's director of football and has spent the past week observing players at several Brazilian clubs.

"Marcello Lippi has not come looking for a specific player but could decide to target somebody depending on his observations," local football news portal Lancenet said.

Among the players understood to be on Lippi's radar are Fluminense's Jean, Cicero, Henrique and Bruno.

Lippi has met with the quartet's agent, Eduardo Uram, who denies the players are involved in transfer talks.

"As far as I know, Lippi's visit to Fluminense was just for courtesy," Uram said. "I can assure you that there are no negotiations with any player that represents the club."

Jean arguably represents the most tantalizing option for Evergrande.

The midfielder has been capped six times by Brazil and was a member of Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad that won the 2013 Confederations Cup. Still only 28, he can expect to remain in his prime for at least another two years.

Lippi was also seen watching Parana Clube's 4-1 victory over America in Brazil's Serie B on Saturday. The Italian is said to have been impressed by 23-year-old attacker Thiaguinho, who scored twice for Parana Clube.

A day later, Lippi witnessed former Brazil striker Leandro Damiao score a brace in Santos' 2-0 victory over Botafogo.

Damiao has struggled for form and fitness since his 18 million-US-dollar transfer from Internacional last December. But his performance on Sunday may prompt Santos to consider offloading the 25-year-old while his stock remains high.

Evergrande have traditionally enjoyed close links with Brazilian clubs, whose players have been pivotal to the team's success in recent years.

Guangzhou's squad currently boasts two Brazilians - midfielder Rene Junior and forward Elkeson. Fluminense's Argentine playmaker Dario Conca also had a successful two-and-a-half-year spell there before returning to Rio this year.

Fluminense are reportedly seeking to cash in on some of their most valuable assets in a bid to offset rising debt and bankroll new signings next year.


Most Popular
What's Hot