at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Beijing – Blackburn Rovers striker Yakubu is close to signing for Chinese Super League team Guangzhou R&F, state media said Tuesday.
If the deal goes through the Nigerian forward will become the latest foreign talent to be snapped up by big-spending Chinese clubs.
“We are in final talks with him and the negotiation is almost done,” Lu Yi, vice president of Guangzhou R&F, was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying.
“The job is 99 percent done. If nothing goes wrong with the final one percent, Yakubu will arrive at Guangzhou this week,” he said, adding negotiations began two months ago.
The club – which will reportedly pay Yakubu an annual salary of $7.6 million – was not available for comment.
Guangzhou R&F is now third in the 16-club Chinese Super League, trailing cross-town rival Guangzhou Evergrande in first place and Beijing Guo'an in second position.
Chinese clubs are luring more and more foreign football players with hugely lucrative packages, hoping to raise the success of their teams after the sport's reputation in the country was badly damaged by a match-fixing scandal.
Earlier this year, French striker Nicolas Anelka joined Shanghai Shenhua, and former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is also reportedly close to announcing his move to the same team.
Blackburn Rovers were relegated from the lucrative Premier League Ä the top tier of English football – in May. – Sapa-AFP