The 2007-2008 season of the China Super League will be kicking off in early March, but some well-known bad-tempered soccer stars are finding themselves unwelcome at the transfer market.
Liu Yunfei, a former international from last season's runners-up Shanghai Shenhua, is the best-known among all nine to-be-transferred players at the club, but he has also remained the least-popular of all.
"Up to now, we haven't received any offer from a single club about Liu," an unnamed official with Shanghai Shenhua said.
Liu, the first-choice goalkeeper of national side steered by Dutchman Arie Haan between 2002 and 2004, has angered the Shanghai-based club when he returned to his hometown Tianjin last season twice without asking for leave and even losing contact withthe club.
"Liu has to blame himself for the bad situation. To be frank, the club wishes him good luck, but he has to change his annoying personality and bad temper before joining other teams, otherwise anybody will put a question mark on his career," the official added.
Liu was sold by his former club Tianjin Kangshifu for 4.8 million yuan (600,000 US dollars) one year ago due to his conflicts with the club's management and coaching staff.
Benched by Shanghai Shenhua for indiscipline last year, the 27-year-old goalie suggested his intention to rejoin his hometown club but his voice seemed to fall on deaf ears.
"Goalkeeper is a key position in the 11-man lineup, we'd rathergive youngsters more opportunities instead of a moody and high-paid Liu," said an anonymous source with the Tianjin club, who is indeed seeking for a goalie for next season.
Li Yi, Shenzhen Jinwei's forward and captain, will definitely become another headache for his next club or coach as the illiberal star allegedly led Shenzhen players to lose consecutive games intentionally in 2005, forcing then head coach Chi Shangbin to quit.
"The dawn is coming," Li was quoted as saying after Chi was sent packing by the club.
The 27-year-old Li, who has been kicked out of the national squad by head coach Zhu Guanghu due to his poor run of form, nabbed only two goals for Shenzhen Jinwei last season.
The 2004 league champions finished a meager 11th in the 15-teamtable on 30 points last season.
Shenzhen hopes to sell the rogue player for a transfer fee of 2million yuan.
Shandong Luneng's Wang Liang, the most expensive player with a price tag of 4.8 million yuan, also looks laid-off next season.
The international hardly had show time since joining the elite club one year ago from Liaoning.
Wang's fame was badly blurred when he was involved in match-fixing scandals while playing for Liaoning in 2005.
After tying with promoted Shanghai United in July 2005, the club management fired head coach Wang Hongli, Wang's father, and suspended the suspicious Wang from playing and training for a while.
Now Wang is reportedly making contact with Haerbin Tengyi, a second division team coached by his father.
"To play under my father is a burden for me, and my form is good enough to assure me of a top-flight team," Wang said.