Thu, 13 Aug 2020

Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro holds first first full-team training session, with head coach Rafael Benitez rejoining the squad following a 14-day quarantine.

BEIJING, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Dalian Pro football club had its first full-team training session on Monday since the return of head coach Rafael Benitez, the Chinese Super League (CSL) club said on its official Weibo account.

Its overseas players Salomon Rondon, Marek Hamsik, Emmanuel Boateng, as well as new signings Marcus Danielson and Sam Larsson, are back on the training pitch as well.

Benitez, the former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager, reportedly flew back to China on a chartered plane on June 13, and finished a 14-day mandatory quarantine after taking a nucleic acid test on June 28.

The 2020 CSL season, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been rumored to restart on August 2.

The 16 teams will reportedly be divided into two groups on a geographical basis, with one group playing each other in the northeastern port city of Dalian, and the other facing off in Suzhou, in east China.

As Suzhou is not a home city for any CSL teams, Dalian Pro, which finished 9th in the 2019 season, would be the only side enjoying home turf.

Reports in the British media have suggested that Benitez is keen to return to former side Newcastle United should their takeover deal go through, though the Spaniard still has two years to run on his contract with Dalian Pro. ■

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