Madrid (AFP) – Former Brazilian international Alexandre Pato is the latest high-profile player to be tempted by the riches of China’s Super League after joining Tianjin Quanjian from La Liga side Villarreal.
Pato, 27, will be coached by Italian World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro and joins Belgian international Axel Witsel at Tianjin after he sealed a big-money move from Zenit Saint Petersburg earlier this month.
“I’m very happy to be part of the Tianjin Quanjian family,” Pato tweeted on his official account with a picture alongside Cannavaro.
Spanish media reported Villarreal are set to cash in to the tune of 18 million euros ($19 million) for a player they spent just three million on to sign from Brazilian side Corinthians in July.
Meanwhile, Pato is reportedly set to earn 10 million euros a season.
The former AC Milan and Chelsea striker scored just six goals in his 24 appearances for Villarreal.
Pato was one of the brightest prospects in world football when he signed for Milan as a 17-year-old in 2007.
Despite netting 63 goals in 150 appearances for the Italian giants, Pato’s first spell in Europe was blighted by injury before returning to Brazil with Corinthians in 2013.
Loan spells at Sao Paulo and last season at Chelsea followed before his brief stint at Villarreal.