By Wu Jie
Wow, wow, wow, what happened to Beijing Guoan? Is the club chairman the one who won a record welfare lottery of 570 million yuan in June?
No. He would have saved it as retirement pension instead of making a splash in the transfer market. The fact is that the club's pay record for a foreign player has been smashed consecutively within a week。
Fed up with a toothless attack that is easily and equally nullified against every rival, the low-profile Guoan shed its bargain-hunter tag by inking 2-million-dollar strikers to atone for the early season transfer woes。
When a foreign player failed to deliver, the tight-budget club used to voice a lasting and "fitting" excuse - a good one takes a lot of money, and would scout another bargain. While this time they emptied their pockets in a desperate effort to revamp the offensive line。
Free agent Frederic Kanoute joined the Imperial Guards from Seville on a one-and-a half-year deal, which will see the Mali international earn an annual salary of $2 million。
The 34-year-old center forward is past his prime. His scoring scent and physicality will be under scrutiny with Guangzhou Evergrande's Brazilian striker Cleo standing as a comparison。
Joffre Guerron, Ecuadorian international, will arrive in Beijing this week to sign a three-year deal for a reported transfer fee of over $3 million plus an annual salary of over $1 million, a new record in the organization's history。
The 27-year-old dazzled many with his speed and talent in the 2008 Copa Libertadores with LDU Quito, lifting the team to the eventual title and awarded player of the tournament。
It is easy to seek another excuse if the duo fails to acclimatize themselves into the Chinese league. But my concern is that whether Guoan can extend their contracts if they shine, given the unpleasant memory of releasing relentless Joel Griffiths and opportunist Branko Jelic due to pay raise requests。
The 2011 and 2005 top scorers agonizingly parted company with Guoan after impressive stints and were lured to archrivals for better pay. Have you noticed that the pay raise paled in comparison to the cost of signing a new potentially underperforming player?