It's official, fan favorite Ba is returning to Shenhua

Demba Ba will be returning to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. The Senegal striker will arrive in Shanghai on June 11 and undergo a health check before rejoining the team.
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Demba Ba

Demba Ba will be returning to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, the club announced yesterday. The Senegal striker will arrive in Shanghai on June 11 and undergo a health check before rejoining the team.

Reports this week claimed that Ba had inked a two-year contract with former club Besiktas. Turkish media reported that Ba would receive an annual salary of 2.5 million euros (US$2.9 million), with some saying that the 33-year-old had declined a much richer offer from Shenhua — a reported three-year deal with an annual salary of 8 million euros before tax .

Shenhua spokesman Ma Yue clarified the situation with a statement on his Weibo account yesterday evening.

“The No. 9 (Ba wore the No. 9 jersey at Shenhua) we are familiar with will arrive in Shanghai on June 11. He will be back after a health check. I am worried that Turkish media will continue making up stories if I don’t make it clear,” he said.

Ma also revealed that Shenhua players will gather for training on June 7.

Ba joined Shenhua from Besiktas in 2015. He suffered tibia and fibula fracture in his left leg after colliding with Shanghai SIPG’s Sun Xiang during a derby in July 2016. Ba then had surgery in Shanghai. He joined Besiktas on loan last January.

Shenhua ended its contract with the Senegalese before the start of this season. Ba then joined another Turkish side Goztepe on a free transfer, scoring seven goals in 12 league appearances for it.

Shenhua suddenly suffered a shortage of strikers after Obafemi Martins picked up a knee injury in an AFC Champions League match in April. The Nigeria forward underwent surgery and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

Head coach Wu Jingui said in an earlier interview that the team would introduce a new foreign player during the Chinese Super League’s summer transfer window from June 18 to July 13. Ba was a top choice, having enjoyed a good reputation among Shenhua fans. Club president Wu Xiaohui reportedly made a trip to Turkey on May 13 to communicate with Ba.

Since CSL allows every club to register four foreign players at one time, Shenhua reached a deal with Martins to end his contract, leaving space for Ba, who will join Giovanni Moreno, Fredy Guarin and Oscar Romero for the rest of the season.

The CSL is currently on a two-month break for the World Cup. Shenhua is seventh in the 16-team standing on 17 points after 11 rounds — six points adrift of leaders SIPG and Shandong Luneng.


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