Brazilian veteran Robinho will join Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Guangzhou Evergrande, the Chinese champions announced Thursday, re-uniting the pair after the ex-Real Madrid player was left off Scolari’s World Cup roster.
‘Big Phil’ enticed the 31-year-old to China “for a contract period of six months”, a statement on the website of the Guangdong outfit said, after weeks of speculation.
The statement gave no mention of Robinho’s salary, but it is likely to be a lucrative deal, following on from Scolari’s 14 million euro ($15.7m) capture of fellow Brazilian Paulinho last month.
Robinho was one of the big names left out of Scolari’s squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, despite playing against Chile in a friendly only two months before the team was announced.
He has since been recalled to the national squad by Scolari’s successor, Dunga, and scored last month in Brazil’s final Copa America match, a disappointing quarter-final exit to Paraguay.
Robinho arrives in China from Brazilian club Santos, where he spent last season on loan from Italian powerhouse AC Milan.
He joined Milan five years ago from Premier League big-spenders Manchester City, following a spell at Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Guangzhou, who are in the quarter-finals of the AFCChampions League, are aiming to clinch a fifth successive Chinese Super League title this year, and sit second in the CSL, one point behind leaders Beijing Guoan.
Robinho will line up alongside Paulinho — who arrived from Tottenham Hotspur — and fellow compatriot and CSL record signing Ricardo Goulart, who joined Guangzhou for 15 million euros in January.
The free-spending side have led a resurgence in Chinese football since 2009, when they were demoted as part of a wide-ranging corruption crackdown.
Former coach Marcello Lippi took them to the pinacle of Asian football, a Champions League victory in 2013.
The CSL, the most-watched league in Asia, this year runs from March to October. – Agence France-Presse