hebei.china.fortune.fcCameroon captain and former Marseille centre-back Stephane Mbia has signed for Hebei China Fortune, the club announced Friday, the latest Europe-based player to head east in the current transfer window.

“Looking forward to ‘absolute beast defender’ Mbia fully showing his strength,” the club said on their verified microblog, adding that he would give the team’s rear-guard a “qualitative leap”.

Hebei did not give a fee but football website Transfermarkt said the club paid Turkey’s Trabzonspor 4 million euros ($4.4 million) for the 29-year-old.

On his verified Twitter feed, Mbia posted a photo of himself in a waistcoat and cufflinks, holding a shirt from his new club.

“Proud to join Hebei China Fortune,” he wrote. “Ready for this adventure. Let’s go.” 

Mbia will join Ivory Coast and former Arsenal striker Gervinho, who signed with Hebei from AS Roma on Wednesday. That fee was also undisclosed by the Chinese club, but Transfermarkt gave it as 18 million euros.

They are among a stream of arrivals in the Asian country as increasingly wealthy clubs flex their financial muscles.

On Wednesday Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Ramires signed with Jiangsu Suning for a Chinese Super League record 28 million euros.

The same day Inter Milan’s Colombian international Fredy Guarin joined Shanghai Greenland Shenhua for a reported 11 million euros. – Agence France-Presse

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