Cedric Bakambu wraps up protracted Beijing Sinobo Guoan transfer
Cedric Bakambu has completed his drawn-out transfer to Beijing Guoan, with the Chinese Super League club also announcing the arrival of Jonathan Viera.
Bakambu -- who left Villarreal in January after his €40 million buyout clause was triggered -- had been on a winter training camp with Beijing and said finalising the move was "a question of timing."
With transfers in the Chinese Super League subject to a 100 percent levy on fees of more than €5.8m, Beijing held off announcing the arrival of the Democratic Republic of Congo striker amid claims they hoped to circumvent that rule on a technicality.
But hopes that paying a player's buyout clause would not incur the tax were dashed when the Chinese Football Association announced that all fees paid, including on loan deals, were covered by the ruling.
"It was not an easy decision for me to make," 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 have invested heavily ahead of the new season, also capturing Las Palmas midfielder Viera and China winger Wei Shihao.
Coach Roger Schmidt, who joined Beijing in July and steered them to ninth place last season, is targeting a place in the Asian Champions League for the first time since 2015.
"Any pressure on us comes from within," he said. "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."
Beijing kick off their Chinese Super League campaign on Sunday when they travel to Shandong Luneng.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch