Cedric Bakambu’s protracted transfer from Spanish side Villarreal to Beijing Guoan was finally confirmed by the Chinese Super League (CSL) club on Thursday, just one day before the start of the new season.
Bakambu has been training with the club since they paid his 40 million euro ($48.75 million) release clause but Beijing did not announce the Congolese forward’s signing amid confusion over whether they had to pay a 100 percent levy on the transfer.
Regulations put in place last year added the tax on transfers for foreign players at fees higher than 45 million yuan ($7.09 million) but several clubs have attempted to find ways of circumventing the rules.
Loan periods and release clauses were viewed as possible loopholes until the Chinese Football Association moved to close them in mid-January, threatening clubs who sought to exploit any ambiguities with a 10-point penalty.
“It was not an easy decision for me to make,” the 26-year-old Bakambu said of his move to the Chinese Super League in a statement released by the club.
“Now, I’m finally here with my team and I will try my best to help them. After two months of spending time with the team, I want to thank everyone for helping me settle in. Now it is my turn to help the team.”
Beijing also announced the signing of Spanish winger Jonathan Viera from Las Palmas, with coach Roger Schmidt setting his sights on qualifying his side for next year’s Asian Champions League.
“Any pressure on us comes from within,” said the German, who was appointed last year.
“On the one hand, our fans have high expectations of us, on the other, so does the club. We won’t give up or be too relaxed.
“We have to speed up the integration of the new players as soon as possible to become a leading team and try to claim an Asian Champions League slot.
“A long journey starts with the first step and now we have to focus on our games one by one.”
The Chinese Super League season kicks off on Friday with champions Guangzhou Evergrande taking on Guangzhou R&F.
Beijing, who finished ninth last season, start their campaign on Sunday when they travel to face Shandong Luneng.
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