Chinese Super League champion Guangzhou Evergrande has set the playing time guarantee as the precondition for its star defender Zhang Linpeng's possible move to English Premier League giant Chelsea.
"We did receive an offer from Chelsea FC, which we have attached great importance," an official who required anonymity told Xinhua on Friday.
"But we will not continue to talk with Chelsea unless the English club make a guarantee on Zhang's playing time," he added.
Guangzhou Evergrande, who claimed the Asian Champions League title in 2013, are now managed by former Chelsea coach Luiz Scolari.
Zhang Lingpeng, also known as Zhangmos, is the starting right-back of Guangzhou Evergrande
The official said the Chinese club started their analyzing system immediately.
"We learned the fact that Zhang could not play for Chelsea at the first place, because he could not get a working permit in England," he said.
For this season, players from non-European Union countries are subject to tighter work permit requirements in Britain. Players from countries ranking below 50th have no chance to get the working visa in England.
The English side have to loan the player to a European club before Zhang can play in the premier league.
"Chelsea haven't told us which club will be Zhang's first stop, and they could not guarantee Zhang could play for Chelsea in the future. So we believe it is a great risk to let him leave now, both for the player and the club," the official said.
But the 26-year old defender, twitted on his personal Weibo, saying, " Please respect the promise, I will take the risk by myself."
Chelsea and Guangzhou have to seal the deal before the summer transfer window closes on Sept. 1. But the Chinese club are unlikely to release their right back at a crucial time during their chase for the fifth consecutive champions in the Chinese Super League and second AFC Champions league title.