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Hebei China Fortune agree record fee for Zhang Chengdong

Zhang Chengdong spent the last six months of the season with Beijing Guoan.

International defender Zhang Chengdong became the most expensive Chinese footballer ever after the 27-year-old officially joined Hebei China Fortune on Friday.

Hebei, coached by former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, announced Zhang's capture on their official social media feed, with the fee believed to be just over €20m.

Zhang has signed from Beijing Guoan, where he spent the final six months of last season after returning to China following a one-year loan spell in Spain with Rayo Vallecano, where he played just once in La Liga.

The versatile defender is a key member of Marcello Lippi's national side and he started his career with Liaoning Whowin before stints in Portugal and Germany prior to his return to China in 2013, when he signed for Beijing.

Zhang left Beijing midway through 2015 to join Rayo Vallecano on loan for a season before his return to the Chinese capital for the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Hebei also announced Zhang's fellow defender Lang Zheng has also moved from Beijing to the club for an undisclosed fee.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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