SHANGHAI: Fabio Cannavaro’s two-year reign as Guangzhou Evergrande coach appears to be all but over after captain Zheng Zhi took temporary charge of the Chinese Super League leaders yesterday.

The club made the announcement following a 2-2 home draw on Sunday against mid-table Henan Jianye, cutting Guangzhou’s lead at the top of the CSL to one point.

The 46-year-old Italian did not attend the post-match press conference and his side have now won just one match in nine games in all competitions.

On Wednesday, Guangzhou went out of the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League 3-0 on aggregate to Japanese side Urawa Reds.

In a brief “special announcement”, the seven-time CSL champions said that the 39-year-old skipper Zheng would take charge on Monday while Cannavaro attended “corporate culture training.”

The club did not explain the move or give further details on Cannavaro’s status.

The World Cup winner was seen on video shaking hands with people and saying goodbye as he left the stadium.

If Cannavaro is sacked by Guangzhou — as seems likely — it will be the second time, following a failed stint there in 2014-2015.

It has been a turbulent seven months for the former Real Madrid and Juventus defender. – AFP