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Thursday, 8 November, 2001, 16:22 GMT
Leicester's China move
Leicester City boss Dave Bassett is hoping to sign China striker Zhang Yuning
Leicester boss Bassett is still hopeful on China deal
Leicester ity manager Dave Bassett is still aiming to sign China's World Cup striker Zhang Yuning on loan until the end of the season.

The Home Office indicated to the club they would view his application for a work permit with scepticism as he did not meet the criteria.

But now, after intervention by the Chinese FA, Leicester are pressing ahead to secure the services of Yuning, who plays for Liaoning Fushun.

Bassett said: "The Home Office weren't in receipt of all the information so the Chinese FA have sent a lot more detail to them and they are reassessing it.

"We would like him to come on loan and you never know. We can appeal if need be.

"The problem is that the Chinese tend to play their matches in the Olympic games. They are not A internationals, so players do not meet our criteria.

Ade Akinbiyi will hold talks about his Leicester future
Akinbiyi set for talks
"China have now reached the World Cup finals and he will be part of their squad. But with all the rules and bureaucracy here, common sense does not always prevail."

Yuning was recommended to Bassett by an old friend Bobby Houghton, who had a spell in charge of the Chinese national side.

"Bobby worked with him in the Olympic squad and has seen him play," said the Leicester boss.

"I've known Bobby for a long time and he is one of the few people I would trust on something like this."

Bassett is also giving a run out to two Italians, wing-back Omar Lepri and striker Francisco Committo, in a practice match.

Sweden striker Stefan Selakovic of Halmstad has stated his desire to come to Leicester but with a fee involved Bassett said: "We've got no money.

"Until we do some business, we haven't got that decision to make."

Bassett's meeting with striker Ade Akinbiyi and his agent is now likely to go ahead next week as the Leicester manager finally returned to work after a virus.

Bassett visited the club's new stadium, which is being built at Freeman's Wharf, for the first time.

With a capacity of 32,500, it is due to open next season.

Bassett said: "It looks excellent and I just want the fans to enjoy Premiership football there."

Leicester boss Dave Bassett
"We're waiting for clearance from the Home Office"
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