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Exclusive: Agent Pretti backs 'noble' Dembele for Guangzhou success

China-based agent Andrea Pretti has backed former Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele to succeed at Guangzhou R&F.

Pretti has worked alongside former Roma midfielder Damiano Tommasi to help establish a network between Europe and China.

The Italian has warned Chinese clubs should not sign players if they are only motivated by money. However, Pretti believes that Dembele has "noble intentions" to succeed in China. The Belgium international moves to Guangzhou in prime form.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino had been reluctant to lose Dembele last month. But the prospect of making money on his sale with less than six months on his deal was too good a chance to turn down. Spurs sold Dembele to Guangzhou R&F for £11 million.

Pretti told TribalFootball.com: "My opinion is: as long as the economic factor will be the main stimulus to convince a player to move to China, premises of these market operations will always be negative.

"In fact, in many cases the football movement of the PRC does not benefit proportionally to the investment and the player tackles this important professional adventure with a non-constructive approach.

"In the specific case, I trust that Dembelè has noble intentions and a correct approach and can thus make the most of this experience, far beyond the considerable economic advantage."

With a decent fee paid, Pretti is confident it will be money well spent given the ground work Guangzhou R&F had put in the deal. At 31 and at the top of his game, Dembele could prove dollar-for-dollar one of the best deals seen in Chinese football.

Pretti adds: "In this case, also the Chinese football could have done a good operation, at least partially, since the numbers put on the table are important."


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Matteo Vitale
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