Carvalho goes to China, Podolski heading for Japan

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid centre back Ricardo Carvalho has joined Shanghai SIPG on a free transfer, it was reported on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old former Portuguese international had been without a club since August after being released by French side Monaco.

Carvalho will become Shanghai’s fifth foreign player alongside Brazilians Oscar, Hulk and Elkeson. Shanghai’s other foreigner is Uzbekistan captain Odil Ahmedov.

China’s Football Association announced new rules concerning foreign players last month, limiting clubs to playing three foreign players per game.

Commenting on the transfer, Shanghai President Chen Xuyuan said: “If any of our other four foreign players is injured, Carvalho will get a chance.”

“As one of the top defenders in the world, his experience is important to help young players.”

Carvalho, who was part of the Portugal team that triumphed at Euro 2016, won the Champions League with Porto in 2004. At Chelsea, he won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups.

Meanwhile, former German international and Arsenal player Lukas Podolski looks to buck the Chinese trend and head to Japan after reports suggested that the Galatasaray striker has agreed to join J.League team Vissel Kobe in the summer.

The 31-year old striker, who has only made nine starts for the Turkish side this season, will reportedly cost Vissel around £2 million.

The 2014 World Cup winner has played 129 times for his country and netted 48 goals.

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