Guangzhou Evergrande are about to make a stunning $20 million swoop for Bourussia Dortmund’s Paraguay striker Lucas Barrios, according to Chinese reports.
Sina sports claims both the transfer fee and salary for the 27-year-old will surpass the record-breaking sums Guangzhou paid for Dario Conca last summer – he was signed for a fee $10 million from Fluminese in a blockbuster deal worth $7 million a year to the Argentinian playmaker.
The Cantonese club’s interest in the Chilean international has been public for at least several weeks, with EPL side Fulham also among his suitors.
However Sina today quoted a high-level official inside Evergrande as saying the deal is basically agreed, with 30% of the fee being paid upfront and the remaining 70% by January 1 next year. However, the official did not rule out the possibility of Barrios joining in the summer transfer window rather than in time for the start of the Chinese Super League and Asian Champions League.
Barrios, who is Argentinian by birth by plays for Paraguay on account of his mother being born there, scored 35 goals in 76 appearances for Dortmund since joining in 2009. In terms of significance, the signing of Barrios would be a bigger coup than Conca, as he is a player who is in his prime and successful at a top European club.
Martin Kuroczik, a German football fan living in Shanghai and a keen observer of the Bundesliga, said “Barrios is a victim of the youth cult in the German league and the desire to play more homegrown players – but he was outstanding last year, he is still young and is certainly not a one season guy.”
He said that Dortmund recently signed one of German football’s most up and coming talents, Marco Reus, from Borussia Moenchengladbach for around 17 to 18 million euros.
Kuroczik added, “Given that Dortmund were on the verge of going out of business in 2005, looking into the abyss, the signing of Reus was a bit surprising, maybe Barrios was the one that had to go to make way for some much needed cash.”