Jiangsu Sainty have completed their foreign player transfer activity for the 2014 winter window, signing Brazilian striker Elias from Botafogo.
Elias, who turned 27 last week, scored 10 goals in 25 appearances in the Brazilian top flight last campaign, having spent much of his early career with Rio de Janeiro state’s smaller sides.
With manager Gao Hong-Bo looking to implement a 3-5-2 system at Sainty this season, per all pre-season indications, it is now likely that Elias will find himself playing in attack alongside Montenegrin Dejan Damjanovic.
Damjanovic was the club’s star signing earlier in the window, joining from Champions League finalists FC Seoul. Also arriving in Nanjing were long-serving Shandong midfielder Roda Antar and Geongnam FC centre-back Yoon Sin-Young.
While Elias, who also prefers to play as a side’s leading striker, is not an obvious partner for Damjanovic, the club have decided to make a late move for his services.
It had been thought that 2012 Chinese Super League top-scorer Cristian Danalache would be remaining with the club this season, having recovered from the serious injury that kept him out for much of last campaign.
With the Romanian failing to impress in pre-season, though, the club have acted quickly to secure a replacement. Danalache is now set to either secure release or a loan move ahead of the season start.