Former Argentina coach Sergio Batista is close to signing a contract with big-spending Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, who are on the lookout to replace sacked manager Jean Tigana.
A successful swoop for Batista would come after 2006 World Cup-winning Italian coach Marcello Lippi took charge of rivals Guangzhou Evergrande last week.
"(The contract) has not been signed so far. The two sides (Batista and the Shenhua Club) are still in negotiation," Ma Yue, the club's spokesperson, told Reuters by telephone.
Shanghai fired Frenchman Tigana in April after a poor start to the season, replacing him with interim coach Jean-Florent Ibenge.