Guangzhou Evergrande have moved to deny speculation they are set to enter into a bidding war with fellow Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan for the services of Gabon international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Chinese media have claimed the pair will attempt to lure the Borussia Dortmund forward to China in a bumper deal, prompting the Chinese Football Association to issue a statement on Tuesday warning both clubs the levy of big money signings from overseas remains in place for the current transfer window.
As a result, Guangzhou issued a statement on their website on Wednesday evening denying they planned to pay a significant sum for a foreign player and that they remained committed to their intention to field an all-Chinese side by 2020.
“Since 2017, we have set out clear principals to sign foreign players who compliment Chinese football and we refuse to pay a premium for any player,” the club said.
“Neither will we join in bidding wars in the transfer market as we are now switching our focus to youth development.
“We will stick to the Evergrande model of building a fully linked youth system to realise our vision of fielding a fully Chinese squad by 2020 to ensure we can consistently contribute to a healthy, stable and sustainable environment for Chinese football.”
Evergrande’s most expensive signing came two years ago when they picked up Jackson Martinez from Atletico Madrid for a then-Asian record transfer fee of €42 million, but the Colombian has barely featured for the club due to injury.
So far in the current transfer window Evergande’s most notable transfers have seen them sign young Chinese stars Deng Hanwen, Tang Shi and Yang Liyu as they seek to refresh an ageing squad.