League

Itaparica on the way to Guangzhou?

Will Itaparica move to R&F? (Photo: HKFA.com)

The transfer news this weekend have been overshadowed by the rumour that R&F might be interested in signing Tai Po’s naturalized midfielder Itaparica. He still has another year left at the New Territories club, so it is not clear if a transfer fee would be involved.

Until now there hasn’t been any official announcement by either of the two teams or Ita himself. However, R&F’s acquisition of Serbian midfielder Marko Perovic, previously at South China, seems to be confirmed, as he was spotted posting Instagram pictures from Guangzhou. There is also an important correction to make: Although local news outlets still report that Mirko Teodorovic will join R&F, this has been strongly denied. Nevertheless, it has become apparent that R&F are willing to invest a lot of money this season, allegedly HK$ 20 million, which would make them one of the richest teams in the league. The new regulations would allow them to sign 3 foreigners, of which 2 can be fielded at the same time. However, by targeting players such as Roberto Affonso, Itaparica, and Lilley Nunez Vas – who are all counted as naturalized local players – they have also smartly increased their foreign striking power within the rules.

Other clubs were also active on the transfer market last week. Kitchee will loan out three of their youngsters to Dreams FC, including Harima Hirokane, Law Tsz-chun and Cheng Chin-lung – a move that should promise them valuable playing time in the HKPL. Chiu Chung-man, former head coach of Biu Chun Glory Sky, will also join the Dreams FC coaching team. The new club will officially start their training on July 17th, 11 am, at Shek Kip Mei Park.

Aside from signing Tai Po striker Lucas Silva in mid May, Kitchee have been relatively silent so far, however, the club is known for being able to keep their transfer operations secret. But they have already invited to their season opening press conference on Wednesday, July 12th, to announce the plans for the next season. Lately, there have been rumours that the HKPL champions might be interested in calling Hong Kong Stadium their home in 2017/18 to better prepare for the Asian Champions League group stage, which they would also plan to host in the 40,000 seater.

Southern, aside from confirming a kit sponsorship deal with Italian sportswear company Macron, hired Chan Man-fai. The ex-South China player suffered from serious injuries over the last two years and many are excited about his comeback next season.

Also, Eastern finally confirmed the signing of South Korean defender Jo Tae-keun from 2nd Thai Division club Chiangmai FC, just one day after welcoming Cheung Kin-fung, and Lo Kong-wai. However, some fans still expect at least another high-profile signing and they have yet to announce Vitor Saba’s arrival.

Check out our full 2017/18 transfer list here.

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