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Liaoning Whowin secure Australian pair

9:46 PM EST 1/17/17
Robbie Kruse Bayer Leverkusen James Holland Adelaide United
Robbie Kruse and James Holland completed their transfers to the Chinese Super League club on Wednesday despite changes to foreign player rules

Liaoning Whowin have signed Australian duo Robbie Kruse and James Holland despite changes to the Chinese Super League's import rules.

Holland's agent Ante Alilovic tweeted on Wednesday that the deals for the ex-Adelaide United midfielder and Kruse were completed.

"Glad to announce James Holland and Robbie Kruse have signed with Liaoning FC in China," Alilovic wrote.



Earlier, Liaoning coach Ma Lin had insisted he still wanted Kruse and Holland but conceded the club owners might consider a change following the Chinese Football Association's (CFA) shock decision to change the Chinese Super League's (CSL) rules for foreign players.

In a bid to promote Chinese talent and reduce "irrational" spending on foreign players, the CFA has decided to limit the number of imports permitted on the pitch to three.

This is down from four where one player had to be from a fellow Asian Football Confederation (AFC) member.

Instead clubs must start at least one Chinese Under 23 player.

CSL clubs can still sign five foreign players and the Asian restriction - the so-called 4+1 rule - has been scrapped.

When asked about Kruse and Holland's chances of signing with Liaoning, Ma said on Wednesday: "It depends on the senior management of the club.

"It's necessary to have five foreign players even though we are only allowed to field three of them in each match.

"A player would be sidelined by injuries, illness or red cards. We can't expect three foreigners to feature in every minute of a CSL campaign."

Reports in Germany have claimed Liaoning paid Bayer Leverkusen €500,000 for Kruse.