Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vagner Love reportedly signs for Shandong Luneng

This week has seen a dearth of transfer rumours, so I decided that I'd replace the regular rumour roundup with this special Vagner Love edition.

Chinese side Shandong Luneng have announced the signing of CSKA Moscow's forward Vagner Love. Love only rejoined CSKA in January and was spectacular in the second half of the 2012-13 RPL season, often playing in the hole behind Ahmed Musa. This transfer has not been rumoured at all, and by all accounts Love is happy in Moscow. The most interesting thing about this transfer is that CSKA have failed to confirm it as yet and Shandong are the only party involved that have given any indication that a move is on the cards.

There are a number of possibilities that could possibly explain why Shandong are the only party leaking this to the press. The first possibility is that CSKA is just slow in announcing the news and that the move has already been completed, which is definitely. The next option is that Shandong are getting ahead of themselves and have released a pre-prepared announcement before the transfer has actually been completed and a deal is currently being negotiated, which I believe is the most likely option as it has happened on numerous occasions with other clubs. The final possibility is that Shandong have announced the move as a way to get free press and that CSKA have had little to no contact with them. By claiming that Love has signed, news outlets from across the world will gain interest in Shandong and increase their international profile.

Regardless, more cannot be discerned until CSKA makes an official announcement, at which point things should become clearer. Such an announcement should not be more than a few hours away, but I personally cannot believe that CSKA would sell Love for anything short of a king's ransom. The inevitable loss of Keisuke Honda will hit them hard, and losing Love would all but end the club's hope for a second consecutive title.

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