Chengdu confirm Elkeson signing ahead of new league season

HONG KONG, April 9 (Reuters) – Chinese Super League team Chengdu Rongcheng has confirmed the signing of China international striker Elkeson ahead of the new campaign.

The Brazil-born forward, known as Ai Kesen in China since taking citizenship in 2019, joins the club after spending last season with Gremio.

The 33-year-old became the first overseas-born player to gain Chinese nationality after moving to the country at the end of 2012 to play for Guangzhou Evergrande.

He won the Asian Champions League in 2013 and 2015 with Guangzhou as well as three Chinese Super League titles before moving to Shanghai SIPG, where he secured another domestic league title in 2018.

Elkeson returned to Guangzhou in 2019 and claimed his fifth Chinese Super League title before he was released in 2022 amid the club’s financial struggles and returned to Brazil to sign for Gremio.

He made his debut for China against the Maldives in September 2019 and was called up to the squad for the first time since November 2021 by new coach Aleksandar Jankovic for a training camp last month.

Chengdu finished fifth in last year’s Chinese Super League standings and will face Henan FC when the new season begins next weekend.

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.