Transfer watch: Asia's latest ins & outs
Kuala Lumpur: With the 2018 AFC Cup resuming next week and the AFC Champions League and various national leagues kicking off soon, the transfer window is open in some countries. www.1jbqn.cn picks out some of the biggest movers in recent weeks.
Korea Republic international Lee Jae-sung has revealed he would be moving to Germany's Holstein Kiel in the 2. Bundesliga.
The 25-year-old earned the K League 1 Best Young Player award in 2015 and the MVP honours last season, as he assisted the club to their fifth domestic title. In 2016, Lee was a crucial member of the squad to clinch their third AFC Champions League title.
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Islamic Republic of Iran international veteran Seyyed Jalal Hosseini has decided to extend his commitment with Persepolis in an open contract, stating he would serve the club and bid farewell to his professional career with the Tehran-based club.
Since his return to Persepolis in 2016, the 36-year-old defender has assisted the team to back-to-back Iran Pro League and Iranian Super Cup titles in 2017 and 2018.
On the Continental stage, Hosseini scored a vital 89th minute goal to beat United Arab Emirates’ Al Jazira FSC 2-1, to finish 4-4 on aggregate in the 2018 AFC Champions League Round of 16 second leg to claim a spot in the quarter-finals on away goals.
Persepolis will meet Qatari champions Al Duhail on August 28 in their quarter-final first leg tie.
Meanwhile, fellow Iranian compatriot Alireza Jahanbakhsh has joined English Premier League's Brighton on a record deal, from AZ Alkmaar.
Jahanbakhsh's arrival makes him the eighth new player to have joined Brighton in the pre-season following Florin Andone, Leon Balogun, Yves Bissouma, David Button, Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Junior, Jason Steele and Percy Tau.
Japan’s Kashima Antlers have confirmed that Mu Kanazaki has transferred to J.League rivals Sagan Tosu.
The prolific forward began his professional career with Oita Trinita in 2007, where he earned his first silverware in 2008, claiming the J.League Cup and was also named the J.League Cup New Hero.
In 2010, he transferred to Nagoya Grampus for three seasons and assisted the club to a J1 League title in 2010 as well as a Japanese Super Cup the following year.
The 29-year-old then moved to Germany to play in the Bundesliga for Nurnberg for a short stint in 2013 before signing with Portuguese club Portimonense. After close to three years in the Segunda Liga, Kanazaki returned home to play with Kashima Antlers in 2016.
Across three and a half years with Kashima Antlers, the Japanese international made 102 appearances, scoring 38 goals, and bagged yet another J.League Cup in 2015, a J1 League title in 2016, as well as the Emperor’s Cup and Japanese Super Cup.
Kanazaki also played a vital role in Kashima Antlers’ 2018 AFC Champions League campaign, scoring three goals in the group stage. His departure means that that he will miss out on the quarter-final tie against China PR’s Tianjin Quanjian.
“I have been with Kashima Antlers for three and a half years and I had a really wonderful experience,” said Kanazaki.
“I will use the experience I have garnered with Kashima to face a new challenge. I want to adjust to the team as soon as possible and contribute to winning.
“Thank you so much for supporting me.”
Kanazaki will now join former Atletico Madrid forward Fernando Torres on the pitch, who joined Sagan Tosu early in July.
Sagan Tosu are currently ranked 17th in the 18-team league.
India’s football star Sunil Chhetri has extended his contract with JSW Bengaluru for an additional year to 2021.
Since 2015, the 33-year-old striker has assisted JSW Bengaluru to several domestic titles, which include the I-League, Indian Federation Cup and Super Cup.
On the Continental stage, JSW Bengaluru made club history in reaching the 2016 AFC Cup final but lost 1-0 to Iraq’s Air Force Club.
??BOOM! He's not waiting to let it run out, and skipper @chetrisunil11 has signed an extension to his current contract, keeping him in Bengaluru blue for three more seasons! #Chhetri2021 ?? pic.twitter.com/Aw1MbzJlyo— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) July 24, 2018
“I have always said that this club and these fans have been the most fantastic experience of my life and signing a new deal here is only a way of giving back to a club that has given so much to me,” said Chhetri.
“I’ve made some fantastic memories here, and I believe there are many more to make.”
The team will fly out to Spain for their pre-season training camp, in preparation for the 2018 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semi-finals Play-off first leg against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr on August 22, before the return leg the following week.
Islamic Republic of Iran international Reza Ghoochannejhad has transferred to APOEL FC of Cyprus from SC Heerenveen, ahead of the Cypriot First Division 2018-19 season.
The 30-year-old forward began his professional career in the Netherlands, having moved to the country at the age of four. Since then, he has turned out for teams in Belgium, England, Kuwait and Qatar, before ultimately returning to his boyhood club Heerenveen.
The forward represented the Netherlands at the U-19 level, but he accepted a call-up from IR Iran coach Carlos Queiroz in October 2012. He went on to make his debut against Korea Republic in an Asian Zone qualifier for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and later scored Iran's only goal at the Finals in their last game against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ghoochannejhad recently featured in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, where Iran finished third in Group B.
After a spectacular run in their domestic league last season, the Nicosia-based club currently hold the record of 27 titles since 1936.
Australia's Brandon Borrello has transferred to Germany's SC Freiburg, after a superb debut season with 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the 2. Bundesliga.
The 22-year-old winger began his senior career at home with Brisbane Roar 2013, where they claimed the A-League Premiership the same year, before moving to Germany in 2017.
However, the 22-year-old suffered a knee injury just 20 matches in with Kaiserslautern, but despite that, Freiburg signed Borrello as he continues his rehabilitation.
"Freiburg has been with me even after my injury and I want to pay back that confidence, the club is known for making young players even better," said Borrello.
“I’ve work hard to be part of the team, I'm extremely motivated and grateful to Freiburg for giving me this opportunity."
EFL Championship club Millwall FC have confirmed signing a long-term deal with Australia's James Meredith.
Born in Albury in New South Wales, Meredith has spent his career in lower league football in England since being spotted by a Derby County scout, at the age of just 16.
Since then, the 30-year-old defender has played in the League of Ireland Premier Division to the English National League North, before landing a deal with Millwall in 2017, where he was joined by fellow Socceroos legend Tim Cahill a year later.
Meredith first donned the Socceroos jersey in 2015, and was called up for international duty once again by Bert van Marwijk for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia recently.
Gamba Osaka have dismissed manager Levir Culpi and replaced him with former Japan captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, the J.League first division side announced.
The 41-year-old Miyamoto, who was boss of the Gamba U-23 team, will take charge of Saturday’s match against Kashima Antlers. Gamba are currently 16th in the 18-team league table with four wins, three draws and 10 losses.
The 65-year-old Culpi took over at Gamba in December but failed to turn the team around after a 10th-place finish in last season’s J1 League under Kenta Hasegawa.
A former defender, Miyamoto captained Japan at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. He earned 71 caps for the national team and retired in 2011.
He made his professional debut with Gamba before playing with Austrian club Salzburg and J.League’s Vissel Kobe.
Peruvian international André Carrillo has transferred to Saudi Arabian champions Al Hilal on loan from Benfica, ahead of their Saudi Pro League 2018-19 season.
Carrillo, made his senior debut with the Lima-based club Alianza Lima in 2009 before moving to Portugal where he played extensively for Sporting CP from 2011 to 2016.
He then joined Benfica on a five-year deal but was loaned out to the English ?Premier League's Watford just a year later.
The 27-year-old featured in Peru's campaign in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and scored their first goal in the 2-0 win over Australia, for a third place finish in Group C.
Former Portugal boss Paulo Bento has been removed as coach of Chinese Super League club Chongqing Lifan, having taken charge last December.
Chongqing are currently 12th in the table and Saturday's 2-1 win at Tianjin Teda was only their fourth in 13 league matches this campaign.
A tough-tackling defensive midfielder during his playing career, Bento will be replaced by assistant coach Hao Haitao on an interim basis.
Turkish side Trabzonspor have announced the signing of Persepolis and Islamic Republic of Iran star Vahid Amiri ahead of their 2018–19 Süper Lig season. Amiri has donned Team Melli's colours since 2015, and recently featured in Carlos Queiroz's squad in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The move for the 30-year-old midfielder marks his first transfer outside of Islamic Republic of Iran since he debuted in 2008.
However, his switch also means Amiri will miss out on Persepolis' 2018 AFC Champions League quarter-final against Qatar's Al Duhail.
Belgium's Sint-Truidense V.V. and Urawa Red Diamonds have reached an agreement on a final transfer of Japanese international Wataru Endo.
In his two-year career with Urawa, the 25-year-old midfielder assisted the club win the J.League Cup in 2016 and the AFC Champions League title a year later. At the international level, Endo was called up to the Samurai Blue in 2015 and played a crucial role in claiming Japan's first AFC U23 Championship title.
"Hello STVV supporters. I am Wataru Endo and I come from Urawa Reds. I join the group as soon as possible as the competition starts within a few days," said Endo.
"I want to give everything for the Canaries."
Aivi Luik has become the second Australian to put pen to paper with a Spanish Primera Division club in less than a week, joining Levante UD Fememino from Norwefian club Kalmar just days after Alex Chidiac signed for Atlético Madrid.
Luik, 33, will make her first foray in Spanish football, continuing a globe-trotting career which has included spells in Australia, North America and several destinations in Europe, as she looks to earn selection for next year's FIFA Women's World Cup.
The three-time W-League winner was part of Australia's squad as recently as April's AFC Women's Asian Cup, but was left out of the travelling party for this month's Tournament of Nations in the United States.
Melbourne Victory has signed German central defender Georg Niedermeier on a one-year deal.
Niedermeier, 32, developed his skills in the Bayern Munich youth academy before making the move to VfB Stuttgart where he would go on to make 182 appearances across eight seasons.
Most recently, Niedermeier played for Bundesliga side SC Freiburg.
Hong Kong's Eastern SC have confirmed the return of Chan Yuen Ting as head coach ahead of their Hong Kong Premier League 2018-19 season. The 29-year-old former professional footballer resigned from the club in 2017 to complete her AFC Pro License certificate.
The 2016 AFC Women Coach of the Year took charge of Eastern in 2015, and became the first-ever female coach to have led a professional men’s team to the AFC Champions League.
Under her expert guidance, Eastern claimed the Senior Challenge Shield crown in 2016 before edging out Kitchee SC to win the league three months later – a success that also helped Chan win the Hong Kong Football Association Coach of the Year accolade.
??Official confirm Chan Yuen Ting - 牛丸 ????as ?? Head Coach! #陳婉婷 #牛丸 #chanyuenting #cowball #headcoach #easternlonglions #EasternLonglionsfootball #東方龍獅 #東方龍獅足球隊Posted by 東方龍獅足球隊Eastern Long Lions Football Team on Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Korea Republic's Ulsan Hyundai have signed Mix Diskerud on a one-year loan deal from English Premier League champions Manchester City.
The Norwegian-born American began his career in Norway with Stab?k in 2008, and then played for Rosenborg and in the United States with New York City FC before landing a four-and-a-half- year contract with Manchester City in 2018. However, the 27-year-old midfielder was then loaned to Swedish club IFK G?teborg until the end of the season.
Ulsan exited the 2018 AFC Champions League Round of 16 after losing to K League 1 rivals Suwon Samsung Bluewings 3-1 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, Japan international defender Naomichi Ueda has signed with Belgium-side Cercle Brugge for four years, the club has announced.
Ueda, 23, played exclusively for Kashima Antlers since his professional debut in 2013, and assisted the J.League club to the 2016 title, as well as the Emperor's Cup the same year, and has played in three editions of the AFC Champions League - in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
One of Japan's rising stars, the defender first donned the Samurai Blue shirt with the U-17 squad, playing in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup where Japan made it to the quarter-finals, and in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia. He also played a crucial role in Japan claiming their first AFC U-23 Championship title in 2016 and was in the squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
Netherlands-born Moroccan international Nordin Amrabat has joined Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr. The 31-year-old winger has experience playing in the Eredivisie, Turkey's Super Lig, and La Liga in Spain, as well as the English Premier League with Watford.
In 2011, Amrabat donned the Moroccan jersey for the first time, going on to play in the 2012 Olympics, 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and recently featured in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, where he started three matches.
Al Nassr finished third in the Saudi Pro League 2017-18 season, securing a spot in the 2019 AFC Champions Leagues Play-off.
Nordin Amrabat ???? .. ? pic.twitter.com/AAq4lpwVln— ???? ????? ??????? (@AlNassrFC) July 16, 2018
Ceres Negros reinforce their ranks ahead of their 2018 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final, signing?Jerry Barbaso, Curt Dizon and Blake Powell, and have also welcomed Roland Muller and Paul Mulders back to the fray.
China PR's Shandong Luneng Taishan FC have announced the signing of forward Roger Guedes. The 21-year-old Brazilian began his career with Criciuma in 2014, then transferred to Palmeiras to play in Brazil's top league two years later before moving to Atletico Mineiro on loan.
The Jinan-based club are currently second on the Chinese Super League, tied with Shanghai SIPG at 23 points, and Guedes will look to keep Shandong in position to qualify for the 2019 AFC Champions League.
19-year-old Australian international Alex Chidiac will spend the 2018-19 season with Atlético Madrid Fememino, having joined the Spanish champions from hometown club Adelaide United.
The move is the latest success in what has been a memorable year for Chidiac. She scored her first senior international goal against Thailand in March, and started in two of Australia's matches at the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup in Jordan.
Earlier this week she played a key role in the Australian U-20 national team's second-place finished at the AFF Women's Championship in Indonesia, scoring seven goals.
Al Ain Club have announced that young striker Ali Eid, 20, has been officially transferred to Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb for one season on loan.
2006 AFC Player of the Year Khalfan Ibrahim has confirmed signing with Qatar's Al Rayyan from Al Arabi.
The 30-year-old Qatari international is well known at home, having made a name for himself playing exclusively for Al Sadd for over 13 years, earning four Qatar Stars League titles, three Qatar Emir Cup crowns, as well as an AFC Champions League title in 2011 and a third place finish in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.
Trevor Morgan has been named Australia's U-16 coach, ahead of the AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018 in September.
Morgan and his staff will attend two camps held in Australia with the first taking place from July 13 to 19, to identify and recruit his squad aiming at a top four finish, who will then represent Asia at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.
Thailand ace Chanathip Songkrasin will join J1 League outfit Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo permanently after his current loan deal from Muangthong United FC expires at the end of the season.
Nabil Maaloul replaced Djamel Belmadi as Al Duhail's head coach, with the club citing 'special reasons' for Belmadi's departure.
Maaloul, a former professional football player and Tunisia manager, will now join the team for a training camp in Austria, ahead of their 2018 AFC Champions League quarter-finals first leg tie with Islamic Republic of Iran's Persepolis on August 28.
Australian defender Rhys Williams has left Melbourne Victory to join Saudi Arabian club Al Qadsiah on Thursday.
Williams started his career with Middlesbrough, spending eight seasons with the English club, which included loans spells with Burnley and Charlton Athletic before moving back home to the A-League with Perth Glory for the 2016-17 season.
Williams joined Kevin Muscat's side last season and featured prominently, making 32 appearances in all competitions. He picked up his first medal of his career when Victory claimed their fourth championship after beating Newcastle Jets 1-0 in the Grand Final earlier this year.
With the move to the Middle East, the 29-year-old will be eager to get back into the Australia squad ahead of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Qatar’s Al Ahli SC announced the signings of Netherlands international Nigel de Jong and Islamic Republic of Iran’s Omid Ebrahimi from 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Esteghlal FC respectively.
de Jong has played prominently with Hamburger SV, Manchester City, AC Milan and LA Galaxy, and is highly regarded back home after a second place finish in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and third place in the next edition in Brazil.
The Amsterdam-born is joined at the midfield with Ebrahimi, who made waves playing for IR Iran's Sepahan FC and Esteghlal FC. Ebrahimi also featured in all three matches of Team Melli's 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group stage campaign.
Spain icon Fernando Torres joins compatriot Andres Iniesta in Japan, after the striker revealed he has agreed to join J.League club Sagan Tosu.
The 34-year-old previously had stints at Liverpool, Chelsea, AC Milan in between two spells at his beloved Atletico Madrid.
Han Eui-kwon, Park Jong-woo and Elvis Saric has signed with Korea Republic's Suwon Samsung Bluewings, bolstering their squad ahead of the 2018 AFC Champions League.
At the Continental stage, Suwon advanced to the 2018 AFC Champions League quarter-finals after beating Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 on aggregate and are set to face rivals Jeonbuk in the first leg on August 29 as they bid for a third title.
Two-time AFC Champions League winners Al Ittihad have announced the signing of Australia international Matthew Jurman from Korea Republic side Suwon Samsung Bluewings. The former Sydney FC defender, 28, has signed a two-year deal with the Saudi club.
Chinese Super League powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande also kicked off the week with a bang with the announcement of the return of Brazil midfielder Paulinho from Spanish heavyweights FC Barcelona.
The Brazilian helped Guangzhou to the 2015 AFC Champions League title before joining the Catalan club in the summer of 2017. The 29-year-old played in all five of Brazil's matches at Russia 2018.
The 24-year-old joins the Serbian powerhouse from Japanese outfit Yokohama F. Marinos, where he made 43 appearances after signing on in 2017.
He will be available to Belgrade manager Vladan Milojevic immediately, and could be in line to debut in the first leg of the club's UEFA Champions League qualifying round tie against Latvian club FK Spartaks Jurmala, which kicks off on July 11.
Akira Nishino will step down as Japan's Head Coach at the end of July, he announced in a press conference.
The Japan Football Association Technical Director took over the reins from Vahid Halilhodzic just two months before their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia campaign.
Under his leadership, the Samurai Blue reached the Round of 16 as Group H runners-up, and despite stunning Belgium with a 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute, the Europeans came back to claim a 3-2 win.
Former Argentina international Rodolfo Arruabarrena (above) will helm Qatar's Al Rayyan SC in the next season of the Qatar Stars League, replacing Michael Laudrup.
The 42-year-old former professional player has managed Club Atletico Tigre, Club Nacional de Football and Club Atletico Boca Juniors in the Argentine Primera Division before moving to the United Arab Emirates' Al Wasl FC in 2016.
Al Rayyan finished third in the 2017-18 season, securing qualification to the 2019 AFC Champions League Play-off round.
Australia's Ben Halloran has terminated his contract with J.League's V-Varen Nagasaki, citing 'family circumstances'.
Prior to his move to Japan, the Socceroos international played for Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2013 before moving to FC Heidenheim in 2015 in the German second division.
Kitchee SC brings in Mohamed Sissoko from Atletico San Luis of Mexico. The Malian defender comes with a wealth of experience to the Hong Kong-based club, having played in the English Premier League with Liverpool, Serie A's Juventus and French side Paris Saint-Germain FC, among others.
This would mark Sissoko's return to the Asian football scene. In 2015, the 33-year-old joined the Chinese Super League's Shanghai Shenhua, before moving to FC Pune City in India a year later, as well as a short stint with Indonesia's Mitra Kukar.
Al Nasr confirmed the transfer of former France international Yohan Cabaye from Crystal Palace on a two-year deal. The capture of the talented midfielder is a big boost to the Emirati club's hopes of a place at the 2019 AFC Champions League, with the Dubai side set to take part in next year's play-offs.
????? | ?— AL NASR FC (@ALNasrSC) July 3, 2018
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Al Sadd pulled off another huge coup by signing midfielder Gabi Fernandez from Atletico Madrid.?The Spanish star signed a two-year contract with the club on Monday evening and will now join his countryman Xavi and fellow new signing Jung Woo-young in the Al Sadd midfield.
English Premier League side Newcastle United signed Korea Republic captain Ki Sung-yueng from Swansea City on a two-year deal. "I'm pleased to welcome Ki to the club," said Newcastle coach Rafael Benítez. "He is the captain of his country, a good character and he will be a good addition to the squad."
Korea Republic midfielder Jung Woo-young sealed a move to AFC Champions League quarter-finalists Al Sadd just a day after playing in his side's historic 2-0 win over Germany at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The 28-year-old joins from Japanese side Vissel Kobe.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation announced the extension of national team coach Juan Antonio Pizzi's contract, which will see the Chilean in charge of the Green Falcons until the end of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
2014 AFC Champions League winner Matthew Spiranovic linked up with former Western Sydney Wanderers boss Tony Popovic at new club Perth Glory, signing a one-year contract with the Western Australia club. The centre-back was last in action for China's Hangzhou Greentown.
Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli sign well-travelled Spanish midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado. The 32-year-old numbers the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Spartak Moscow, Schalke 04 and Watford amongst his former employers.
After six years away, 2012 AFC Player of the Year Lee Keun-ho returned to Ulsan Hyundai, the club where he made his name and lifted the AFC Champions League title. The 33-year-old re-joins the club from Gangwon FC.
"I'll never forget the love and support I had from Ulsan fans," Lee said. "I'll do the best I can to win more love from our supporters."
After a year away from Dubai, United Arab Emirates striker Ahmed Khalil has returned to the Emirate to join Shabab Al Ahli Dubai. The forward signed for Al Jazira last summer before teaming up with Al Ain on a short-term deal in January and winning the UAE Pro League and President's Cup.
The 2015 AFC Player of the Year, 27, was with Al Ahli between 2006 and 2017, and left just before the merger between his former club, Dubai CSC and Al Shabab.
The Philippines confirmed former England international Terry Butcher as their new head coach after Thomas Dooley's contract was not renewed.
Butcher, who has helmed in England, Scotland and Australia, will take charge of the Azkals ahead of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 after Dooley led them to the continental competition for the first time.
Former Wales and Sunderland boss Chris Coleman was named coach of Chinese side Hebei China Fortune, taking over from Chilean Manuel Pellegrini who moves to the English Premier League to take the helm at West Ham United.
Guangzhou Evergrande have added to their Brazilian contingent by acquiring Talisca (pictured below) on loan from Portuguese club Benfica. The forward had spent the previous two seasons on loan at Turkish side Besiktas, who he helped win the Super Lig in 2017.
Al Hilal have appointed former Benfica and Sporting Lisbon boss Jorge Jesus as their new head coach ahead of the 2018-19 Saudi Pro League season. Jesus won a host of honours at Benfica, including three Primeira Liga titles, and had been at Sporting since 2015.
Cypriot side APOEL FC announced the signing of Jordan international Musa Al Taamari from Al Jazeera, with the attacker joining a team who have won the past six league titles in Cyprus.
Al Taamari’s six goals in the AFC Cup have fired Al Jazeera into the West Zonal final and the 21-year-old will likely be a huge loss for the Amman side.
Vissel Kobe pulled off a major coup in signing FIFA World Cup winner Andres Iniesta after the midfielder left Spanish giants Barcelona following a glittering career that included four UEFA Champions League titles and nine La Liga championships.
Iniesta, who scored the only goal in the 2010 World Cup final, will have a major role to play as his new side chase a first qualification for the AFC Champions League over the second half of the J.League season.
Photos: Getty Images, FIFA via Getty Images, uhfctv.com, melbournevictory.com.au, socceroos.com.au
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