Bayern Munich forward Sandro Wagner on Wednesday joined Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League (CSL) for a reported transfer fee of five million euros and a hefty pay packet.
A growing number of players are leaving Europe for China and typically earn much higher wages, although Chinese football authorities have moved to cool the transfer market. The 31-year-old former Germany international started just once for Bundesliga champions Bayern this season and failed to make the squad for their past two games. “Sandro Wagner came to us and asked to be released from his contract,” said Munich’s sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. “He had a very attractive offer from China and we met his request.” Chinese and German media said Teda paid about five million euros for the forward, though German daily Bild said previously that Bayern wanted more than that. Wagner has signed a two-year deal and will pocket about 7.5 million euros a season, Bild said, calling it “a mega salary”. The burly Wagner joined Bayern from Hoffenheim for 13 million euros last January to provide cover for Robert Lewandowski. But he had become increasingly frustrated by his lack of playing time under Bayern head coach Niko Kovac. Munich-born Wagner will link up with former Hertha Berlin team-mate Felix Bastians at Teda, who are coached by another German, Uli Stielike. Teda have struggled in the CSL in recent years, and finished just outside the relegation zone last season. Wagner’s wife Denise and their three children will join him in China, Bild said. Wagner retired from international duty with Germany in May last year — an angry reaction to being left out of the 2018 World Cup squad by Joachim Loew, despite scoring five goals in eight games for his country. The Chinese season begins on March 1.