Colombia midfielder Giovanni Moreno flew to China on Friday to become Shanghai Shenhua’s latest recruit under former Argentina coach Sergio Batista.
The gifted 25-year-old will join Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and former France forward Nicolas Anelka at the ambitious Chinese side for a transfer fee that, according to media reports, is worth $9 million.
“There are opportunities that come about and you have to take them to see what happens,” Moreno told TyC Sports television before boarding a plane for China.
“China is not a market that pleases many people but there’s something about the players this team has that motivates me.”
Moreno joined Racing from Atletico Nacional of Colombia in July 2010 and his silky skills had him widely regarded as the best player of the Apertura championship won by Estudiantes in the first half of Argentina’s 2010/11 season.
However, in the opening match of the Clausura in February 2011 he damaged knee ligaments and was out for seven months, missing out on playing for his country at the Copa America in Argentina last July.
Moreno failed to recapture his best form this season and Racing have had a poor Clausura after finishing second to Boca Juniors in the Apertura in December.
Local media reports also said Batista had phoned Boca captain Juan Roman Riquelme to try to tempt him to join Shenhua.
“We’re going to listen to the proposal. Roman has always said he’s a Boca fan and wants to retire at the club although this will depend more on him,” Boca president Daniel Angelici was quoted as saying.