Villarreal striker, Cedric Bakambu, has snubbed a move to the Premier League to join Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan in a record-breaking deal worth £65million.The 26-year-old has agreed a long-term contract worth a reported £307,000 a week, despite interest from Tottenham, Newcastle, West Brom and West Ham.
When it becomes official, Bakambu’s move will make him the most expensive African player of all time ahead of Liverpool’s £39m man Mohamed Salah.
RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita is also set to jump ahead of Salah when he completes his move to Anfield for a fee in excess of £48m this summer.
But he will not cost more than Bakambu after Beijing Guoan agreed to meet his £35m release clause – and pay another £30m in taxes to their country’s football association.
The Chinese FA introduced the shock rule in May last year in a bid to stop the huge influx of foreign stars and promote their own young players.
But that has not prevented the Chinese Super League side, who finished ninth last season, from pushing through a deal for the in-demand striker. Bakambu took to social media on Wednesday to share a picture of himself seemingly undergoing part of his medical in the Chinese capital.
The DR Congo striker attracted attention from Beijing Guoan and a host of English top-flight clubs after his impressive form for Villarreal. He scored 48 goals in just 105 games for the Yellow Submarine after arriving from Bursaspor in 2015.Villarreal are set to make a huge profit on Bakambu after signing him for just £6.5m following a prolific season in Turkey, where he netted 21 goals.