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Guangzhou deny approach for Real Madrid star Bale

21:09 GMT+4 10/01/2018
Gareth Bale Real Madrid Celta Vigo
The likes of Bale, Auba and Nainggolan have been linked with a move to China, but the club are set on honing local talent

Guangzhou Evergrande have publicly denied interest in stars such as Gareth Bale and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, insisting that they will focus on developing their own stars. 

Coached by Fabio Cannavaro, the Canton club have shied away from the blockbuster imports made by some of their Superleague rivals in recent years

That policy has hardly hurt them on the pitch, however, with 2017 seeing them win a seventh consecutive CSL title. 

Now, amid links to the likes of Real Madrid striker Bale, Dortmund's Aubameyang and Roma's Radja Nainggolan, Guangzhou have rubbished reports that a Europe-based megastar could be on the way.

"With the deepening reform of Chinese football in recent years, the domestic leagues are making tremendous progress and enjoying packed stadiums," the club signalled in a statement.

"Starting from 2017, we stick to the principle that the club would only buy foreign players whose stature is compatible with the current level of the Chinese football.

"We resolutely oppose the purchase of foreign players at a prohibitive price and the engagement in an arms race. Instead, the development of homegrown players will figure high on our list of priorities.

"We will be firmly committed to our 'one-stop shop' project for Evergrande Football School that would witness player after player coming off the conveyor belt to play first team football.

"We will gradually reach the target of fielding a Chinese-only squad by 2020 so as to make a contribution to the steady, healthy and sustainable development of Chinese football."