Transfer news

Yakubu joins Guangzhou R&F

June 28, 2012
By ESPN staff

Blackburn striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has followed Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka to China, but has chosen to sign for Guangzhou R&F on a three-year deal.

PA PhotosYakubu has impressed in the Premier League

Yakubu, 29, chose to leave Rovers after they were relegated from the Premier League last season and has been mulling over a move to Asia for some time. However, now the Nigerian striker has confirmed why he chose his new home.

"There were many clubs interested according to the media, but the only people who made direct contact have been Guangzhou R&F," Yakubu told the BBC.

"Many will ask why China? The truth is there is not much to prove after scoring almost a century of goals in a league [the Premier League] considered as one of the best in the world.

"I thank Blackburn Rovers, the fans, fellow players for making my one season there seem like a decade - I appreciate their support [and] I hope the club will come back again into the top flight as soon as possible."

Yakubu started his career as a youngster with Julius Berger FC of Lagos in his homeland, before moving to Israel to play for Maccabi Haifa. He chose England and played for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton and Leicester City before he joined Blackburn in August 2011.

Yakubu's latest adventure has attracted a lot of attention, and also a lot of criticism aimed at his motives. However he told the BBC that money was not why he chose to join the club.

"Money cannot buy you happiness and what I have found from the people in China is love, happiness, sincerity and warmth [and] I can't wait to get started here," he said. "They are starting an unbelievable football programme here and it's nice to be a part of it."