Changchun Yatai's Erik Lima garners interest while new faces are excepted soon


Changchun Yatai look set to make some moves in the transfer market, with reports linking clubs with Brazilian winger Erik Lima and sources indicating new signings are on the way.

Erik, 27, was an instrumental part of manager Chen Yang's side in 2021, helping to guide the team to a sensation fourth place finish in their first season back in the Chinese Super League after a two-year absence.

In 22 league appearances, Erik scored a respectable seven goals while predominantly occupying the left side of the team's attacking trio - with Chinese international Tan Long on the right and fellow countryman Júnior Negrão playing through the middle.

His efforts have reportedly attracted the attention of Botafogo in his native Brazil, a club he previously played for on loan in the 2018/19 season - scoring six goals in 20 games for the Rio de Janeiro club.

Reports indicate that Changchun Yatai are unwilling to let the forward leave, hoping to have him around for another year in hopes of building on a strong debut campaign.

However, sources close to the club have also revealed that Chen Yang is close to bringing in two new faces that could lessen the blow if the Brazilian does not return to the club.

Wang Jinxian, currently with Dalian Professional, is said to be training with the club at present and is closing in on a deal to return to the Chinese Super League after Dalian suffered relegation to China League One.

The 26-year-old left winger has two caps with the China national team to his name and has spent his entire footballing career in Liaoning Province, joining Dalian Yiteng's academy in 2005 before moving to Dalian Aerbin (now Professional) in 2012.

He has 161 professional games under his belt, all with Dalian Professional, with nine goals and 24 assists throughout his career.

Alongside him, Ma Canjie, who most recently played for Guizhou FC, is said to also be close to a deal with the club.

Ma Canjie is a different prospect altogether, though, being the tender age of 21 years old and having only broken into professional football with Guizhou last season.

The right winger, who could be in line to be a long-term replacement for the soon-to-be 34-year-old Tan Long, had a solid debut season in China League One - scoring four goals and adding two helpers in 25 appearances.

He will likely be a long-term project for Changchun Yatai, but the early signs are positive and if he can learn from Tan Long this season, it could set him up to be an effective player in the Chinese Super League in the near future.

If the club are able to retain Erik Lima's services, as well as bring in both Wang Jinxian and Ma Canjie, it would give them much more depth and quality moving forward and will support Chen Yang's preferred style of play - which utilises wide players to great effect.

The move would also allow Erik to play through the centre more often, with Júnior turning 36 years old before the turn of the year, allowing further flexibility in what projects to be a longer season than in recent years with the return of home-and-away games and the expansion to 18 teams.

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