Rumours are circulating in the Chinese press that negotiations are currently underway between Omiya Ardija and C-League side Shanghai Shenhua over the transfer to Japan of international striker Zhang Yuning. Until recently, of course, Zhang was a team-mate of new Squirrels signing Saul Martinez, but reports suggest that the possibility exists that the pair will be re-united in Saitama, with talk of a permanent deal at $500,000 or a year's loan at $170,000.
Zhang Yuning is 28 and his career in China stretches back to 1994 with the Liaoning club, although he's played for Shenhua for three somewhat injury-hit seasons now, scoring 21 goals in 46 matches. In 2001 there were some indications that English side Leicester City were interested in a loan or trial period - he was denied a work permit - but Zhang picked up some notoriety in 2004 as the result of a court case in which he ended up paying more than $250,000 in compensation to his former clubmate Qu Leheng, who had become disabled in a car crash four years previously. Zhang was driving the car with Qu as a passenger when it crashed into a tree, leaving Zhang with minor injuries but Leheng as a paraplegic and in a wheelchair for life.