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Zheng Zhi Bounds for English Premier League
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Chinese Soccer player Zheng Zhi will go to the English Premier Football team Charlton Athletic on loan when the winter transfer session opens on January 1.

The Chengdu Shangbao newspaper reports Zheng will initially leave the Shandong Luneng Club for Charlton on loan. If all goes smoothly, the two sides will sign a second contract for Zheng's buyout in 6 months' time.

Zheng has declined to reveal the price of the deal, which is rumored to be up to 300,000 pounds for the initial 6 month loan, plus 2,000,000 pounds for the final transfer.

As China's Player of the Year in 2002, Zheng has proven his outstanding football and leadership skills playing for domestic league teams and the national team.

He led a near-bankrupt Shenzhen Jianlibao to victory in the inaugural Chinese Super League in 2004, before repeating the feat for Luneng in 2006, after joining the side a year earlier.

Zheng was also one of the starting players on the national squad that were runners-up in the 2004 Asian Championships in China, under the helm of Dutchman Ari Haan.

(CRI December 29, 2006)

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