Manager of Chinese Super League, CSL, side, Tianjin Quanjian, Fabio Cannavaro has revealed that the club refused to sign Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini during the transfer window last month.
Cannavaro said he turned down the opportunity to sign the Belgium international but was trying to acquire the midfielder’s international teammate, Napoli striker Dries Mertens.
He said, “There are a lot of good Belgian players in the national team who might be interested in playing in China.
“I’m looking for someone around 28, 29 years old. The regulations of the Chinese league have changed and although Fellaini was offered to us by his agent, I told them I was looking for other types.
“We had been talking to Dries Mertens. But when we are still in discussion, he suddenly starting scoring for Napoli, but there was no outcome to our discussions.”
The club was linked with a host of foreign stars after they gained promotion to the top flight, with Cannavaro eventually signing Axel Witsel from Zenit St Petersburg and former AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato.
The former Italy defender also claimed he would like to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku even though he realised the likelihood of the former Chelsea man joining Tianjin was slim.
He added, “We may talk to Everton about Romelu Lukaku but I doubt if they will let him go.
“He has had some great achievements despite being only 23.
“He is young I know, but that wouldn’t be an issue for him to come here. Actually he might be perfect for China’s league. Look at Oscar, he transferred to Shanghai SIPG at 25. Football is everywhere.”