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Star Chinese defender claims he's received 'formal invitation' to join Chelsea

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For most of the past decade, Chelsea have been linked quite regularly with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, usually when he was pushing for a new contract from the Galacticos.  While that move has never even come close to materializing (and probably never will), we're apparently going after the second best thing, the Chinese Sergio Ramos, ZHANGMOS!  I'm not making this up.

Chelsea have made an offer for China and Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng, Chinese media reported on Friday.

The Premier League champions sent a contract on Wednesday and hope to secure the 26-year-old right back before the summer transfer window closes on Sept. 1, Titan said.

-source: Reuters

But wait, there are quotes even!

"I'm very happy and very excited to finally have this formal invitation. I've worked hard and waited these five or 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."

-Zhang Linpeng; source: Reuters

LOL?

Zhangmos is a "solidly built" attack-minded defender, who's won back-to-back-to-back-to-back titles with Guangzhou Evergrande (where Robinho and Paulinho currently play as well).  He's also won the Asian Champions League in 2013 and has been named in the Chinese Super League Team of the Year the last two seasons.  The 26-year-old has been capped 44 times for China.  Former coach Marcello Lippi apparently called him the best Chinese footballer in the Super League a couple years ago.  So the dude's probably pretty good.  And a winner.  Or at least pretty good, relatively speaking.  And definitely a winner.  We do like winners.

Should this craziness in any way prove true, the next big hurdle for Zhang would be the work permit.  While some are predicting that he wouldn't get one in a million years — and he wouldn't qualify automatically thanks to China's low FIFA ranking — we could easily work the system just like we did with Kenedy.  High enough transfer fee and wages should basically be enough to get the appeals panel's approval.

But is this crazy enough to be true?  You never know with Silly Season, and the more I look at it... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯