On Tuesday afternoon, Guangzhou R&F announced the capture of China international defender Zhang Yaokun from Dalian Shide, via their official Weibo account.
Zhang, 31, had spent his entire senior career at Shide, joining the club under its former guise of Dalian Wanda in 1998 and went on to play a major role in two Chinese Super League title wins at the club. With his contract set to expire at the end of the year, the centre-back will now link up with R&F on a free transfer with a two-year contract, with Shide’s current uncertainty having made it nigh on impossible to remain with his hometown side.
“Zhang Yaokun’s arrival will help greatly ease the pressure on our defence,” R&F club vice-chairman Lu Yi told the Guangzhou-based New Express newspaper. “After this season, we have a clear understanding that there is a shortage of manpower in defence, midfield and attack. We are especially short in midfield and defence. Zhang Yaokun is an international and has experience of winning the league. For us, he is exactly what we need.”
Zhang becomes Fuli’s second signing of the winter, following the permanent addition of Evergrande midfielder Li Yan to the squad last month. R&F’ were handed some good news on Tuesday as it was revealed that Li, who spent the latter part of the 2012 season on loan at the club, will not count as one of R&F’s five permitted domestic transfers during the winter transfer window.