After confirming the departure of coach Marco Kurz at the end of the season, Adelaide United chairman Piet van der Pol has opened up on his long-term plans for the club.
In an in-depth interview with The Advertiser, van der Pol revealed the Reds will likely sign Chinese players on loan next season as he looks to develop players from his second club Qingdao Red Lions and try to find the 'Chinese Messi'.
"That will be a regular feature absolutely," Piet van der Pol told The Advertiser.
“I want to stimulate development and just like people like to send their children to a university in another city or another country, especially players from a completely different educational and coaching culture, will benefit really from that.
"For Chinese players to have a western or Australian coach for a couple of months to get a completely different approach, I think will be very beneficial.
“The amount of talent there is absolutely massive, as it is here in Australia.
“The holy grail in football that everybody is looking for is the Chinese Messi. Every club in the world is looking for that."
Should Adelaide sign a skilled Chinese player, van der Pol also pointed out the potential commercial benefits for the club.
“Why does Barcelona want the Chinese Messi? Because there is 1.5 billion people and commercial opportunities that will increase even the biggest clubs in the world," he said.
“Imagine if Adelaide United has a Chinese player here and 30 million people watching the game compared to several tens of thousands on Fox here."