China's Evergrande says Lippi to stay as coach
World Cup winning Italian manager Marcello Lippi has signed a contract extension to coach Guangzhou Evergrande for three more years, the Chinese club announced Friday, days after reports said he had turned down an offer.
Lippi, who lead Italy to glory in 2006, will remain coach of the Chinese and AFC Champions League title holders until November 2017, Evergrande said on a verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
Evergrande broke China's 23-year Asian title drought when they clinched the continental club championship in November, with the Italian at the helm.
"We believe the successful contract extension for our world class coaching team with Lippi at its core will help maintain our leading position," it said in the posting.
It did not give a value for the contract.
The announcement came after reports in state media quoted club president Liu Yongzhuo as saying the Italian, 65, had decided to leave at the end of the season because he was "tired".
Lippi joined deep-pocketed Evergrande in May 2012 and has led them to two Chinese Super League titles, a Chinese FA Cup and the AFC crown.
Separately, China's football association on Friday unveiled 57-year-old former Lyon and Marseille boss Alain Perrin as manager of its underperforming national football team, after signing a contract with him earlier this week.
Ahead of the announcement Lippi was a favourite for the post amid speculation that he would not renew his Evergrande deal.