The Argentine's arrival in China appears to mark the end of the player-manager role for Nicolas Anelka, who has expressed displeasure that the hiring was made without consultationSergio Batista landed in Shanghai on Friday as he prepared to take over one of China's richest and recently most dysfunctional teams.
The former Argentina coach will observe Sunday's match between Shanghai Shenhua and Guizhou Renhe at Hongkou Stadium, and is expected to be officially announced by the club as early as next week.
The Argentine's takeover will mean the end of ex-Chelsea man Nicolas Anelka's reign as playe-manager. Since the firing of Jean Tigana, Anelka lead Shenhua to just one win, three draws, and two losses in six matches.
Anelka, who has expressed displeasure with Batista's signing, will only coach the Renhe match as he serves a one-game suspension.
In order to escape the lower half of the table, Batista may be given a new weapon by multimillionaire club owner Zhu Jun. The software magnate met earlier this month with agents representing striker Didier Drogba, who announced after Chelsea's Champions League victory that he would leave the club this summer.
The Ivory Coast international has been courted for nearly a year by the club as well as Anelka, who has personally lobbied for his former team-mate to join him in China.
Shenhua, currently 14th in the Chinese Super League standings, has not won a match since April 21.