Corinthians president Roberto de Andrade admits Chen Zhizhao move is about marketing the club in China

The Sao Paulo outfit's move for the Chinese attacker has been criticised by many as simply a marketing stunt and that's not been denied by the club's president
Corinthians president Roberto de Andrade has openly admitted the Brazilian club's move to sign China's Chen Zhizhao is about marketing.

The Sao Paulo club have come in for some criticism this week following accusations the move for the uncapped 23-year-old Chinese attacker is a marketing stunt.

Zhizhao, who still needs to complete several formalities before the deal is official, will join Corinthians from Chinese club Nanchang Bayi whom he didn't play for in 2011 after they blocked a transfer to Portuguese outfit CD Trofense.

However, Roberto de Andrade revealed to Arena SporTV that the move was all about marketing.

"To begin to develop a market, you have to have a local player. It is a large market, and football will be no different," he said.

He added: "Having a Chinese player is part of our bid to start opening the commercial market between Corinthians and China.

"We want to have a store in China for Corinthians. We can play pre-season friendlies too. And if you have a Chinese player, I think the doors open with more ease."

Angolan former Chinese Super League player Johnson told Globo Esporte that Zhizhao wasn't a player who had ever stood out during his time in East Asia, reiterating the belief the move wasn't for footballing reasons.

"He could not do anything against our team. The hiring is more marketing, not because of his football ability. I played against him and he is not a big player in China, nor did he stand out there," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Zhizhao is expected to join Corinthians on a two-year loan deal from Nanchang with Roberto de Andrade revealing the formalities which needed to be completed.

"It's all right with us, with the player and the club. But we lack the paperwork. He needs a permit from the Chinese government to work in another country. We are waiting for this release to apply for a visa to work in Brazil and take doctors exams," he said.

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