Zhang's 'dream'  transfer to Chelsea off

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 Zhang Linpeng will not be joining Chelsea in the summer.

Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng will not be joining Chelsea due to "lack of time", though both sides have not ruled out possibility of reaching a deal during the winter transfer window.

The 26-year-old right back had been linked with the English Premier League champion last week with days left before the September 1 deadline for the European transfer window.

However, the deal couldn't be completed due to the limited time while the two clubs failed to agree on some aspects, including whether Zhang would be guaranteed a work permit if he, as expected, was loaned out by Chelsea to another European club for a year. According to Premier League regulations, Zhang cannot join Chelsea directly due to work permit restrictions on non-European Union players, so a loan to another club was the best option.

Evergrande club board member Liu Yongzhuo wrote a public letter to Chelsea CEO Marina Granovskaia early yesterday, posting it on his Sina Weibo account after the two parties held an overseas meeting.

Liu revealed he was informed during the meeting that Chelsea had no back-up loan plan for Zhang. The EPL side would not promise Zhang a work permit, neither would it guarantee Zhang a position in the team if he gained the permit. Other requests denied included that Evergrande could not buy Zhang back at the original price, neither would Chelsea accept Zhang from Evergrande on loan.

"I have learned a lot from the way you protect your club's interest," Liu wrote. The Evergrande Group vice president said that Granovskaia had cited limited time as the "big trouble" in sealing the deal.

Zhang has never hid his ambition to play overseas for a top club. Having experienced some roller-coaster emotions over the weekend, Zhang said he would now concentrate on the Chinese Super League and the national team while pursuing his overseas dreams

In Liu's public letter, he quoted Evergrande president Xu Jiayin as saying that "if it's too late to catch the summer (transfer), we can talk at the end of the year as long as (Zhang) can go to play for Chelsea".

Granovskaia said she needed to talk with the board about the possibility of a winter transfer.

Zhang, nicknamed "Zhangmos" due to a playing style similar to Real Madrid defender Sergei Ramos, is a key player for Evergrande as Luiz Felipe Scolari's team chases domestic and AFC Champions League glory.

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