HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster has been named head coach of Dalian Yifang as the newly promoted club looks to bounce back from a poor start to life in the Chinese Super League.
The German replaces Chinese coach Ma Lin, who oversaw three successive defeats which have left the 2017 China League One champions rooted to the bottom of the standings.
Ma had been appointed head coach in December as a replacement for promotion-winning coach Juan Ramon Lopes Caro having overseen Liaoning Whowin’s relegation from the Chinese Super League in 2017.
Dalian made headlines just before the start of the season with the signings of Yannick Carrasco and Nicolas Gaitan from Atletico Madrid as well as the capture of Jose Fonte from West Ham United.
Those purchases came amid speculation the club would be taken over by the Wanda Group just weeks after the Chinese corporation sold their stake in Atletico.
Dalian Yifang have yet to make an official comment on the speculation.
Schuster takes charge of a team that was hammered 8-0 by Shanghai SIPG in their opening game in the Chinese Super League earlier this month before suffering further losses against Guangzhou R&F and Beijing Guoan.
The 58-year-old German won the Spanish league title in 2008 with Real Madrid but has not worked since the end of the 2014 Spanish season, when he left his position at the helm of Malaga.
Dalian Yifang’s next Chinese Super League game is against Henan Jianye on March 31.
Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Amlan Chakraborty