Football: Chinese target more Serie A stars - reports

Tianjin Quanjian coach Fabio Cannavaro set his sights on Fiorentina's Croatia striker Kalinic, according to reports by Sky Italia.
Tianjin Quanjian coach Fabio Cannavaro set his sights on Fiorentina's Croatia striker Kalinic, according to reports by Sky Italia. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Milan (AFP) - Tianjin Quanjian coach Fabio Cannavaro could continue the Chinese club's impressive European buying spree by snapping up Serie A strikers Nikola Kalinic and Carlos Bacca, according to reports.

Tianjin Quanjian on Tuesday beat several top European clubs, including Serie A champions Juventus, to the signature of Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel.

The 28-year-old will pocket €72 million (S$108.36 million) in salary at the club coached by Italian former World Cup winner Cannavaro after signing a four-year deal from Zenit St Petersburg.

Cannavaro has now set his sights on Fiorentina's Croatia striker Kalinic, according to reports by Sky Italia which said the Chinese would be prepared to meet the €50 million buyout clause the Florence-based side have appended to Kalinic's deal.

A report in La Nazione newspaper earlier this week said Fiorentina had set a 15-day deadline for negotiations with Tianjin Quanjian, who were set to send a delegation to Italy, to allow them to look for a suitable replacement.

Meanwhile, a report in Turin-based sports daily Tuttosport said Tianjin, Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai Shenhua were all considering making offers for Colombia striker Bacca, who plays for AC Milan.

Reports in Italy claim Milan have slapped a €30 million price tag on Bacca, who has scored six times in 11 starts for Vincenzo Montella's side so far this campaign.

The seven-time European champions are expected to allow the striker, who has been linked with a return to Sevilla as well as a move to West Ham amid what has been a mitigated start to the season, to leave for the right price.

Witsel, capped 71 times by Belgium, is the latest European star to be lured to China, following on the heels of the December deal that makes Argentina's Carlos Tevez the highest salaried player in the world at Shanghai Shenhua, where he will earn €38 million a season.

Earlier in December, Shanghai SIPG recruited Brazilian Oscar from Chelsea for €60 million.