Back in the transfer window, news broke that Chelsea had reportedly signed the ‘Chinese Sergio Ramos’.
Reuters announced that Guangzhou Evergrande’s Chinese international defender Zhang Linpeng believed he was moving to the reigning Premier League champions.
I’m very happy and very excited to finally have this formal invitation [to join Chelsea]. I’ve worked hard and waited these five-six years for my dream of playing overseas, and finally have recognition from the English Premier League.
Although I’m unable to play Premier League directly, I believe [Chelsea] will have the most professional arrangements regarding my permit. I have no worries at all about the negotiations.
A few months on, and today Chinese news outlets are claiming the 26-year-old is now set to join Real Madrid for free this winter.
Latest on Zhang Linpeng's career: Reports say Evergrande's chairman (in Madrid) has agreed a deal with Real for a free loan in January
— Christopher Atkins (@ChrisAtkins_) September 21, 2015
Zhang Linpeng can play at full-back or centre-half, he has won four straight Chinese Super League titles with Evergrande, plus he’s also won the AFC Champions League in 2013.
A Chinese news report from Sina into the story is below.