Chelsea hit snag in deal to sign Zhang Linpeng: Blues must give Chinese defender regular game time

Chelsea’s deal to sign Guangzhou Evergrande star Zhang Linpeng has hit a bump in the road after they were told that they would not be able to bring him on board unless they can give him regular game time, the Daily Express reports.

The Chinese international told the press in his homeland earlier this week that a deal to take him to England is in place before speaking of his excitement at heading to Stamford Bridge.

“I am very happy and very excited to finally have this formal invitation,” he told Titan24.

“I have worked hard and waited five or six years for my dream of playing overseas, and finally have recognition from the English Premier League.”

However, the Chinese Super League side have told The Blues that they can only sign him if they can promise him regular game time.

A club official told news outlet Xinhua: “We did receive an offer from Chelsea, which we have attached great importance.

“But we will not continue to talk with Chelsea unless the English club make a guarantee on Zhang’s playing time.

“We learned the fact that Zhang could not play for Chelsea in the first place, because he could not get a working permit in England.”

And when asked about Chelsea potentially being forced to loan Linpeng out, he added: “Chelsea haven’t told us which club will be Zhang’s first stop, and they could not guarantee Zhang could play for Chelsea in the future.

“So we believe it is a great risk to let him leave now, both for the player and the club.”

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