Having invested in clubs in New York City, Melbourne and Yokohama, Manchester City are looking to further their global expansion with the acquisition of a Chinese club, according to Catalan newspaper SPORT.
In a further attempt to export the City Football Group brand worldwide, it is reported that City have ‘entered negotiations’ to buy a team in the Chinese Super League, which they would then turn into a new franchise.
SPORT claims that City officials have already been in touch with a club in Beijing and another in Shanghai to try to close an acquisition agreement, having identified the Chinese Super League as one of the competitions with the greatest potential for growth.
The Chinese Super League has two teams from Shanghai currently participating: Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, who have well-known strikers Demba Ba and Obafemi Martins in their squad, and Shanghai SIPG, coached by former City boss Sven-Göran Eriksson and with Brazilian striker Hulk up front. Beijing Guoan is the only club representing the Chinese capital, with Brazil international midfielder Renato Augusto among their key players.
Shanghai Shenxin and Beijing Renhe, clubs in China’s second division, could be other options.
SPORT does not elaborate on how successful negotiations have been so far, but reveal City want to train players worldwide in the future, which having clubs in big catchment areas across the globe, such as China, will help to achieve.