Asia transfers: Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande edge Baniyas for Robinho; Western Sydney sign former Barca youth

Guangzhou Evergrande have landed Robinho, Brazilian media are reporting, after Baniyas had earlier tried to recruit the former AC Milan and Real Madrid man to the Arabian Gulf League.

Robinho plays a pass for Brazil during their Copa America quarter-final loss to Paraguay last Saturday. Nelson Alemeida / AFP / June 27, 2015
Powered by automated translation

Guangzhou Evergrande

Brazil forward Robinho ended his third spell at Santos on Tuesday, with local media reporting he was set to join up with former national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

Abu Dhabi club Baniyas had hoped to bring Robinho, 31, to the Arabian Gulf League, but he will represent instead another major move for the Chinese Super League.

In some measure shifting Asian football's power east, Chinese clubs have recently signed Demba Ba and Paulinho from Besiktas and Tottenham Hotspur, and Shanghai SIPG have launched a bid for the AGL's top striker, Asamoah Gyan of Al Ain.

Now, Robinho will head to the far east. The former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan attacker, known for his elaborate stepovers, said he was hopeful of returning to Santos in the future after the club said they could not afford to match the offers from overseas.

“Unfortunately it will not be possible to renew my contract. But Santos FC will always be in my heart,” Robinho said in a statement.

“Santos will go great, because it is above any player. I will try to remain happy doing what I like best, which is play football and hopefully one day return.”

The Chinese club appointed 2002 World Cup-winning coach Scolari earlier this month after sacking Fabio Cannavaro after less than half a season in charge.

Scolari has been quick to make changes and signed Paulinho from Spurs on Monday for a reported fee of around US$15 million (Dh55.1m).

Guangzhou, 2013 Asian Champions League winners, were joined in lavish spending by Shanghai Shenhua, who paid $14.5 million for Demba Ba.

Western Sydney Wanderers

Western Sydney Wanderers have signed former Barcelona youth player Andreu Guerao Mayoral for the next A-League season.

After spells with other Spanish clubs, the 32-year-old midfielder played in the 2011 Club World Cup during a guest stint with Oceania champions Auckland City before returning to Spain for two seasons with third-tier club Racing Santander.

Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas said Wednesday, “Andreu has spent time at clubs such as Barcelona and Malaga and we’re excited to add this sort of football pedigree to the playing squad.”

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE