Stojkovic leaves Guangzhou by mutual consent


HONG KONG (Reuters) - Guangzhou R&F have announced the departure of Dragan Stojkovic from his role as head coach at the Chinese Super League club by mutual consent on Friday.

Stojkovic spent four-and-a-half seasons in Guangzhou after replacing Cosmin Contra midway through the 2015 season, when he helped R&F avoid relegation to China League One, the second tier of Chinese football.

In his first full season, Stojkovic led the club to a sixth place finish and improved on that in 2017 when R&F finished fifth, just missing out on a place in the Asian Champions League.

However, R&F struggled over the last two seasons of Stojkovic's tenure despite the goal scoring exploits of Israeli forward Eran Zahavi, who finished as the league's top marksman in 2019.

Zahavi set a new Chinese Super League record with 29 goals in 28 games last year but R&F could only finish 12th, prompting the club to seek a replacement for the former Yugoslavia international midfielder.

Chinese media reports have linked former Barcelona and Arsenal defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst with the now vacant post.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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