Portugal’s Ricardo Carvalho is likely to become SIPG’s third foreign signing this season.

The veteran defender has been training with the team in Shanghai after spending a week with the Chinese Super League side in Doha, Qatar. The former Chelsea player has been linked with the Shanghai outfit but the club has yet to make an official announcement.

SIPG’s former Ivory Coast striker Jean Evrard Kouassi joined second-tier side Wuhan Zall FC last week, allowing SIPG to register Carvalho as the fifth and last foreign player.

SIPG manager Andre Villas-Boas has signed Brazilian Oscar and Uzbek international Odil Ahmedov this month. Brazilian duo Hulk and Elkeson, who played for SIPG last season, are very much part of Villas-Boas’ plans for the new season. SIPG has registered the four for the AFC Champions League.

Earlier this month, the Chinese Football Association restricted the number of foreigners who can start in a match to three players despite several high-profile signings in the January market.

But clubs are still allowed to register five foreign players.

There will be no financial burden on SIPG to sign Carvalho, who comes as a free agent.

“Carvalho is training with the team in Shanghai,” SIPG general manager Sui Guoyang told local media. “There is some time before the CSL transfer window closes. So we still have time to complete some undone work.”

The defender comes with rich experience having played for Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Monaco, and is expected to be an asset to the young Chinese players in the squad.

SIPG’s first match for the new season will be against either Thailand’s Sukhothai or Myanmar’s Yadanarbon in the Asian Champions League qualifier on February 7.

City rival Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, managed by Uruguayan Gustav Poyet, could face a tougher opposition in Australian side Brisbane Roar in their AFC qualifier on February 8. Greenland, which made the headlines after signing Argentine great Carlos Tevez, will play two warm up matches against K-league side Sangju Sangmu Phoenix and Sydney United on January 24 and February 1, respectively, ahead of the qualifiers.

Shanghai Daily

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