(Reuters) - Chelsea have made an offer for China and Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng, Chinese media reported on Friday.
The Premier League champions sent a contract on Wednesday and hope to secure the 26-year-old right back before the summer transfer window closes on Sept. 1, Titan said.
“I’m very happy and very excited to finally have this formal invitation,” the newspaper quoted Zhang as saying.
“I’ve worked hard and waited these five-six years for my dream of playing overseas, and finally have recognition from the English Premier League.”
Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou were not contactable to verify the report.
Zhang and the clubs were working through the terms of his transfer, Titan said.
Even if were to go ahead, Zhang said he did not expect to get straight into Premier League football.
Players from non-European Union countries are subject to tighter work permit requirements in Britain, and Chelsea might elect to loan the defender to a European side for a period of time to pave his way into the league.
“Although I’m unable to play Premier League directly, I believe (Chelsea) will have the most professional arrangements regarding my permit,” Zhang added.
“I have no worries at all about the negotiations.”
Technically proficient and solidly built, Zhang has been a key player in Guangzhou’s success in China and their run to the 2013 Asian Champions League title.
He carries the nickname ‘Zhangmos’ in China in a nod to Real Madrid’s stalwart defender Sergio Ramos.
Chelsea have endured a sketchy start to their English title defence, shipping an unusually high seven goals in their first three matches.
Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Patrick Johnston/John O'Brien