Chinese Super League: Jiangsu bring in Croatian striker Ivan Santini from Anderlecht to douse hopes of Gareth Bale signing

Hong Kong: Chinese Super League (CSL) side Jiangsu Suning have signed Croatian striker Ivan Santini whose arrival is expected to bring to an end the club’s pursuit of Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

 Chinese Super League: Jiangsu bring in Croatian striker Ivan Santini from Anderlecht to douse hopes of Gareth Bale signing

Ivan Santini (L) has also previously played for French club Caen in Ligue 1. Reuters

The signing of Santini from Anderlecht, which was announced by Jiangsu on their social media outlets on Monday morning, alongside the recruitment of Brazilian defender Miranda from Inter Milan late last week means the club now have five foreign players on their books.

CSL rules allow clubs to have four overseas-born players included in their official squads at any one time and, with Italian defender Gabriel Paletta expected to depart soon, Jiangsu’s quota has been filled with the signing of Santini.

Jiangsu had been expected to sign Bale before the closure of the CSL’s transfer window on Wednesday with claims that the Wales international would be paid around £1 million ($1.24 million) a week to become the latest big-name arrival in Chinese football.

But reports on Sunday said Bale’s proposed move to Jiangsu had collapsed after Real’s board refused to approve his departure, with the Chinese club wanting to acquire the 30-year-old on a free transfer.

The signing of Santini means Jiangsu would have to move out either Alex Teixeira or Eder Martins to accommodate Bale but, with both integral members of coach Cosmin Olaroiu’s side, that looks unlikely.

Updated Date: Jul 29, 2019 13:10:53 IST