We don’t get that many sudden plot twists when it comes to football transfers. Sure, there are things like Moussa Sissoko ghosting Everton’s waiting airplane at the tarmac to go sign with Tottenham Hotspur, Willian changing his mind during a Spurs physical (sob), or Peter Odemwingie showing up at QPR begging them to sign him. But the vast majority of transfers are straighforward: details are usually leaked to the press ahead of time, the player travels to his new club, and he signs.
That may not be happening with Mousa Dembele. While Moose is currently either on his way to or recently arrived in China to complete a transfer to the Chinese Super League, the club he signs with may not actually be the one he was linked to, Beijing Guoan. Instead, according to journo Kristoff Terreur, he may actually be signing with Guangzhou.
Mousa Dembele is flying to China . He won’t join Beijing Guoan. Off to Guangzhou. #thfc #coys pic.twitter.com/2IlRfMf5xg— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) January 14, 2019
Weird, right? But here’s the kicker: there are TWO clubs in Guangzhou — Guangzhou Evergrande, which as you may recall is the club we sold Paulinho to a few years back, and Guangzhou R&F. Evergrande was one of the best clubs in the Super League this past season and finished second, but R&F finished 10th, 32 points behind champions Shanghai SIPG.
Odder still, Terreur originally deleted a tweet that listed R&F as the destination club. That could be simply that he wasn’t sure which Guangzhou club Moose will be signing for, so better to keep it ambiguous for now.
So, here’s what we know: Dembele is currently in (or heading to) China, apparently to sign an £11m transfer to a club in the Chinese Super League. However, we don’t know right now what club that is anymore, nor do we really know if this is actually a thing. Spurs and Dembele seemingly think it is, otherwise Moose wouldn’t have gotten on a plane to Hong Kong this morning. So either someone’s lying or the truth about this transfer has been kept up until now super secret.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter, so long as Unknown Chinese Club FC forks over the money and we can get this thing settled one way or the other. But holy smokes, this is an odd turn of events. Hopefully Moose and Tottenham don’t end up holding the bag.