Cedric Bakambu becomes most expensive African player

BY: The Sun
Cedric Bakambu
Cedric Bakambu

Villareal's Cedric Bakambu has turned down a host of Prem clubs to sign for Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan and become the most expensive African player in history.

The striker was linked with moves to Newcastle, Tottenham, West Brom and West Ham.

But he has turned down those options to pen a bumper £16m-a-year contract in China's capital city.

Bakambu has already undergone his medical with the £65m deal set to be finalised within the next 24 hours.

Beijing Guoan have not only agreed to pay the £35m release clause for the Congolese striker, but also all the imposed tax on the star - which will total around £30m.

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The forward joined the La Liga side back in 2015 on a five-year contract and has scored 48 goals for the Spaniards in 105 matches.

The 26-year-old made his breakthrough with French side Sochaux before signing for Turkish club Bursaspor in 2014.

But after netting 13 times in 27 appearances he was off to Villarreal the following summer.

As speculation mounted over his future, Bakambu stated that he had no desire to leave.

Newcastle and West Ham were both reported to have made contact with his employers regarding his availability.

And it is also claimed that Paris Saint-Germain had a bid rejected for the hotshot.

The £65m fee to take him to the Far East dwarfs the £36.9m Liverpool paid for Mo Salah last summer - the previous most-expensive fee for an African footballer.

It will also top the £55m the Reds are paying RB Leipzig for midfielder Naby Keita, even though they could pay £13m extra to bring him to England this month rather than waiting for the previously agreed July 1.

Bakambu's medical went without a hitch and all that remains are a few formalities to be concluded before he is officially presented.

The Chinese Super League runs from March to November.

The fixtures for the new season have yet to be finalised as the ace and his team-mates wait to see who they will face on the opening day.