LaLiga side Espanyol and last season’s Chinese Super League winners Shanghai SIPG announced yesterday that SIPG striker Wu Lei has joined Espanyol.
Wu Lei flew to Spain from the United Arab Emirates yesterday after he played for the Chinese men’s national team in the AFC Asian Cup where they reached the last 16 before succumbing 3-0 to Iran.
The 27 year-old striker is one of the best players in the Chinese Super League and won the Golden Boot award last season. His contract with Espanyol is said to be “2+1” which means a 2-year contract with an additional year if Espanyol and Wu Lei want to trigger an extension. It has also been reported that after playing for Espanyol, Wu Lei will need to return to SIPG after the contract ends.
When asked in an interview with CCTV, why he chose a LaLiga football club at 27 years old, Wu Lei said that he had first wanted to become a CSL winner with Shanghai SIPG before playing for an overseas football club and LaLiga’s emphasis on technique suits his personal style and abilities.
Esapnyol is controlled by the Chinese company Rastar Group and its owner is the Chinese businessman Chen Yansheng.
This Wu Lei transfer is thought to be the start of a wave of Chinese players playing overseas.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick