Man City announce purchase of third-tier Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu

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The City Football Group have added another football club to their portfolio, which already included the likes of Melbourne City and New York City FC

Manchester City have made inroads into China with the City Football Group (CFG) acquisition of third-tier club Sichuan Jiuniu.

CFG, which owns the Premier League champions, has bought the Chengdu-based side as part of a joint-purchase deal involving China Sports Capital and robotics firm UBTECH.

City chief executive Ferran Soriano said in a statement on Wednesday: "Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group. China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time.

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"We believe strongly in the future of football in China. We are making a long-term, sustainable commitment to grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent. These objectives are equally important.

"Our immediate focus will be strengthening our football performance, using all of our experience and know-how, forging a strong relationship with our fans and building a strong presence in the community."

Sichuan Jiuniu become the seventh club to join CFG's global conglomerate.

Alongside Premier League champions City, CFG also controls Melbourne City, New York City and Club Atletico Torque of Uruguay, while it has invested in Girona and Yokohama F. Marinos.

China Sports Capital has held shares in CFG since December 2015, while UBTECH has been one of City's commercial partners since 2016.

On the pitch, City are preparing for their Champions League last-16 first-leg meeting with Schalke on Wednesday night.

Pep Guardiola's side are considered one of the favourites to win the competition and will be confident of progression against the side who are currently 14th in the Bundesliga table.

The Premier League champions are still fighting to win four titles in the 2018-19 campaign, with City currently joint top of England's top flight, while they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

City are also through to the quarter-final of the FA Cup, where they will face Swansea City, having beaten Newport County 4-1 in the previous round.

Despite being in with a chance of winning a quadruple this season, Kevin De Bruyne is adamant that City are just focused on winning games, rather than worrying about how many trophies they might collect.

He told reporters: "I think the goal is not to win the four competitions; the goal is to win every game and, the further you progress, you want to win the next game. On Sunday we can win the competition but you cannot say at the beginning we are going to win four.

We are happy with where we are, we want to progress to the quarter-finals [in the Champions League] and be closer to winning it. But to win all four and set that standard is nearly impossible."

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