MOSCOW (AFP) – CSKA Moscow's Brazilian forward Vagner Love is leaving the Russian champions for Chinese league high-flyers Shandong Luneng Taisan, the Moscow side said in a surprise announcement Wednesday.
"The decision was really difficult both for the club and for the player," CSKA said in a statement.
"However, Vagner received an unprecedented offer of a personal contract while CSKA received a very lucrative offer from the Chinese side."
Though the value of the transfer was not officially disclosed sources close to the Moscow club were quoted in the Russian media as saying that CSKA will receive 12 million euros for the 29-year-old Brazilian.
Vagner has played 255 matches and scored 124 goals for CSKA from 2004-13, winning three Russian titles with the Red Army side. He also won six Russian cups and the 2005 edition of UEFA Cup with four-time Russian champions.
The departure has taken the Russian football world by surprise after Vagner in January signed a 3.5-year deal with CSKA following a year with Brazilian top-flight side Flamengo.
The move is also a huge blow for the team right at the start of the Russian season as manager Leonid Slutsky seeks to defend the title against a tough challenge from Zenit St Petersburg and Spartak.
"We would like to thank Vagner for his contribution in the club's successful display last season," said CSKA.
"Thank you, Vagner, for your help in CSKA's win of three titles after your return to the club in January."