This 'Maradona' is a China product not the legend.

Prolific forward Wu Lei, dubbed “the Chinese Maradona”, has signed for struggling Espanyol in La Liga, the Spanish club and Shanghai SIPG said on Monday, January 28th.

The 27-year-old was top scorer in the Chinese Super League last season, hitting 27 goals to play a major part in SIPG’s maiden title success.

“The new blue and white player will wear the number 24 on his shirt,” Chinese-owned Espanyol, who are in the bottom third of La Liga, said in a statement.

There was no immediate word on the size of the transfer fee.

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“SIPG still follows one basic principle: as long as it (the transfer) is beneficial to the player’s career and the development of Chinese football, the club will fully support it,” SIPG said in a statement.

The move for international Wu, China’s best player, has been mooted for several days.

Wu, who can play centrally or out wide, was previously linked with Chinese-owned Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.

But it is Barcelona-based Espanyol who have taken the chance on the player who has spent his entire career in China at SIPG.

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