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Robbie Kruse and James Holland move to China despite new CSL rule

Robbie Kruse
Robbie Kruse will move from Bayer Leverkusen to play for Lianing Whowin in the Chinese Super League.

Socceroos Robbie Kruse and James Holland have signed for Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin.

The twin transfers are yet to be officially confirmed but agent Ante Alilovic announced via Twitter on Wednesday that Kruse and Holland have agreed to terms with the club.

Kruse joins from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen while Holland played his last game for Adelaide United last weekend. Liaoning reportedly paid a €500,000 fee to Leverkusen for Kruse with another undisclosed sum owed to Adelaide for Holland's services.

It's not known what the deals mean for Dario Vidosic and Michael Thwaite, the two Australians currently contracted to Liaoning Whowin.

But it's likely the pair will be released to make way for Kruse and Holland, with Vidosic previously linked to a move elsewhere in Asia and Thwaite to a return to the A-League.

The moves were nearly derailed because of changes to the CSL's foreign player quota system earlier this week -- in particular, the scrapping of the '4+1' rule that opened up a niche for Australian players in China.

Three other Socceroos -- Ryan McGowan (Henan Jianye), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning) and Apo Giannou (Guangzhou R&F) -- currently play in the CSL, while Matthew Spiranovic's Hangzhou Greentown was relegated from the top tier at the end of last season.

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