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City´s Sun eyes Sino-soccer return (SN)

SoccerNews in English Premier League 23 May 2008

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Chinese trailblazer Sun Jihai may be set for a return to his homeland after admitting he had probably played his last match for Manchester City.

Sun, 30, said he was keen to extend his six-year stay in Manchester but had heard nothing about a contract extension.

“I haven't got any response from the club but my agent is trying to find another club in England,” he said.

“I have also got another offer from a Chinese club,” Sun said, adding that the team's identity was a “secret for now.”

Sun, who captained City for Thursday's 3-1 tour loss to South China invitation team, was keen to stay at Eastlands but appeared resigned to his fate.

“I still want to play for City, but that's football,” he said. “I can still play at Premiership level so I will carry on my football career.”

A variety of Premier League and Championship clubs have reportedly shown interest, and Sun said he would also consider a move to Japan.

The utility defender-midfielder is his country's most successful export since signing as China's first Premier League player in February 2002.

In October that year, he became the first Chinese player to score in the English top flight when he headed City's opener in the 2-0 win over Birmingham City.

Sun and Fan Zhiyi had earlier become the first players from China in the English leagues when they joined Crystal Palace from Dalian Wanda in 1995.

While endearing himself to City fans, the affable Sun is also hugely popular at home after 66 international appearances including the 2002 World Cup and China's run to the 2004 Asian Cup final.

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