Tianjin: Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato has become the latest international star to move to the Far East, signing with Tianjin Quanjian ahead of the forthcoming 2017 Chinese Super League season.
Pato, a 27-year-old forward who has appeared 27 times for Brazil’s national team, joins the newly-promoted club from Spain’s Villarreal CF on terms which have yet to be revealed.
The move, confirmed on social media by the player and Tianjin manager Fabio Cannavaro, follows the club’s earlier capture of Belgian midfield star Alex Witsel from Russia’s Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Tianjin’s January spending spree also saw them claim the signature of former Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Al Ahli (UAE) midfielder Kwon Kyun-won, as they have sought to significantly bolster their playing stocks ahead of their first season in China’s top flight.
Pato has appeared for some of the world’s most famous clubs including AC Milan, where he scored 16 times as the club won the Serie A title in 2010-11, as well as spending time with Corinthians, Sao Paulo and a brief stint with Chelsea.
In recent seasons the Chinese Super League has become home to a number of global stars and the January 2017 transfer window has been no exception; with Chelsea’s Oscar and Boca Juniors’ star Carlos Tevez joining rival clubs in Shanghai.
Pato has joined his Tianjin Quanjian teammates in Catania, Italy as they prepare for a league campaign which begins in early March.