Guangzhou buys Maccabi Tel Aviv's Eran Zahavi for $8m

Eran Zahavi Photo: Dani Meron

The Maccabi Tel Aviv captain will earn $12.5 million over 30 months playing for the Chinese team.

Maccabi Tel Aviv captain Eran Zahavi has signed a 30-month contract with Guangzhou worth $12.5 million. The Chinese team will pay Maccabi Tel Aviv $8 million for the 28 year old Israeli midfielder, the largest transfer fee ever paid to an Israeli soccer side. Under the terms of the agreement by which Zahavi joined Maccabi three years ago, Hapoel Tel Aviv will receive $2.5 million of the transfer fee.

In three seasons with Maccabi, Zahavi has scored a phenomenal 98 goals in 117 appearances. In his first season at Maccabi he scored a club record 29 goals and last season he scored an all-time Israeli league record of 35 goals. He helped Maccabi complete a hat-trick of league titles in 2015 and last season his goals helped the club reach the lucrative group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2003.

Guangzhou are languishing in mid-table in China's top flight league and the owners are hoping Zahavi can help them climb towards the top. The Israeli will earn performance related bonuses including $20,000 per goal. Zahavi declined an offer from Maccabi's Canadian owner Mitch Goldhar to double his salary of $1 million per year, which already made him the highest paid player in Israeli soccer.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 29, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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Eran Zahavi Photo: Dani Meron
Eran Zahavi Photo: Dani Meron
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