Veteran centre-half Jose Fonte has ended his short stint at West Ham United after deciding to move to Chinese Super League new boys Dalian Yifang.
Euro 2016 winner Fonte only joined the Hammers from Southampton 13 months ago, yet he has made just eight appearances during an injury-hit campaign.
Newly-promoted Dalian have now made Fonte the most high-profile of their transfer window captures, with the 34-year-old keen to play first-team football and secure his place in the Portugal squad for the summer’s World Cup.
Thank you @westham thank you @southamptonfc thank you @cpfc 10 Years and 404 appearances in The ENGLISH GAME ??????? allow me to be proud of that!!! To all the fans that showed love,respect I thank you with all my heart!!! What a beautiful journey I’ve been. To all my chairman’s, Managers,team mates,the staff in every club along the years Thank You!!! I’ve always given my absolute maximum and tried to be an exemplary professional and I live by it,so now that a new Challenge awaits expect nothing else. I look forward to it ?? #dalianyifang Obrigado @westham obrigado @southamptonfc e obrigado @cpfc 10anos e 404 jogos depois no FUTEBOL INGLES ??????? Deixem me ficar orgulhoso por esse feito!!! A todos os adeptos que sempre mostraram carinho e respeito o meu muito obrigado! Que bonita aventura eu vivi. A todos os presidentes,treinadores,colegas e staff ao longo destes anos Obrigado!!! Sempre dei o meu melhor e tentei ser um exemplo de profissional!Vou continuar a fazê-lo porque foi assim que aprendi,por isso agora que um novo desafio se apresenta em nada mudarei!!!De braços abertos e com tudo para a ?? #dalianyifang ??
“Jose wanted to take it, he’s 34 years old and he felt that it was the right thing for his career at this time,” said West Ham boss David Moyes.
“It gives him the chance to try something new. He wants to get in the Portuguese national team for the World Cup and he felt if he was playing regularly it would give him a better chance.
“He’s just back from injury and in a condition to play so we wish him good luck, and he’s been a great professional since I’ve been here.”