BEIJING (AFP) –
French international Guillaume Hoarau signed a three-year deal with Chinese Super League side Dalian Aerbin on Wednesday, the latest footballer enticed to the country’s big-spending clubs.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker was unveiled to reporters in the northeastern city after speculation that he would be on the move following the French league leaders’ capture of Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the summer.
The 28-year-old had been linked to a transfer to the English Premier League. But he opted to join Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba and former France international Nicolas Anelka in China, in a move which would reportedly see his PSG salary doubled.
“After a routine medical, France international Guillaume Hoarau and Dalian Aerbin formally signed three-year work contract,” a statement from the football club said on its verified page on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
It did not give details of any transfer fee.
“I came here to achieve not only the team’s targets, but also my own,” Hoarau told reporters.
His arrival was immediately welcomed by Chinese football fans. “Not only is he really tall, but he also isn’t a bad footballer,” said one Weibo user.
Dalian Aerbin was founded in 2009 by one of China’s largest construction companies, Dalian Aerbin Group, and finished fifth in the league last season. The club has since merged with established local side Dalian Shide.
Hoarau had six months left on his contract at PSG, but was considered surplus to requirements by manager Carlo Ancelotti after the arrival of Ibrahimovic, who is currently Ligue 1‘s top scorer.
Drogba and Anelka are said to be on contracts worth around $300,000 a week in China, where clubs are commonly controlled by mega-rich business titans.