Nicolas Anelka has been added to the Shanghai Shenhua coaching staff to help struggling manager Jean Tigana.
Shenhua have won just one of their opening five games in the Chinese Super League, leading to speculation Tigana may be sacked.
Instead, the club have reshuffled their backroom staff, and added former Real Madrid and Chelsea striker Anelka.
A club statement read: "Due to the team's recent record which has not met the expectations and demands of the club's fans, media and other parties and the fact the foreign players are in urgent need of high-quality training the club has made the decision to replace some members of the coaching staff.
"The club will introduce four coaches from the United Kingdom and France to join the coaching staff to provide the necessary training support to ensure the competitive state of the players.
"In addition, the team captain Nicolas Anelka will coach and participate in the team's daily training management."
Anelka, 33, joined Shenhua in January after four years at Chelsea.