Villareal star Cedric Bakambu 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 deal worth £307,000 a week as reported, despite interest the English Premier League clubs 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 also look set to hop in front of Salah when he finalize his move to Anfield for an additional fee of £48m this summer.
As it maybe, he won’t cost more than Bakambu in the wake of Beijing Guoan accepted to meet his £35m release clause – and pay another £30m in taxes to their nation’s football association.
The Chinese FA presented the shocking rule in May one year ago in an effort to stop the huge influence of foreign stars to promote their own youthful players.
However, that has not kept the Chinese Super League side, who completed ninth last season in the league table, from pushing through a deal for the most sought after striker.
Bakambu took to social media on Wednesday to share a photo of himself apparently undergoing medical in the Chinese capital.
The DR Congo striker pulled out attraction from Beijing Guoan and a large number of English best flight clubs after his impressive form for Villarreal.
MOST EXPENSIVE AFRICAN PLAYERS
1. Cedric Bakambu (£65m)
2. Mohamed Salah (£39m)
3. Sadio Mane (£34m)
4. Eric Bailly (£30m)
5. Islam Slimani (£28m).
He scored 48 goals in only 105 games for the Yellow Submarine subsequent to arriving from Bursaspor in 2015.
Villarreal are set to make a tremendous profit on Bakambu after signing him for just £6.5m following a prolific season in Turkey, where he netted 21 goals.
WHO IS CEDRIC BAKAMBU?
Born: April 11, 1991
Place of birth: Vitry-sur-Seine, France
Clubs: Sochaux (2010-14), Bursaspor (2014-2015), Villarreal (2015-present)
Career appearances: 248
Career goals: 88
DR Congo caps: 16
DR Congo goals: 7
Honours: European U19 Championship (2010), UEFA Europa League squad of the season (2015-16), La Liga player of the month (October 2017).
The 2016-17 proved less successful as he found the back of the net just 12 times in 34 games before penning a two-year contract extension in July last year.
It proved to be a wise decision, with Bakambu scoring 12 goals in 17 games this term to attract Beijing Guoan’s huge winter offer.
He will become the latest big name to move to the Chinese Super League, following in the footsteps of Brazilian trio Oscar, Hulk and Alex Teixeira.