Kawasaki Frontale attacker Renato has departed for China ahead of a surprise transfer to Guangzhou R&F, Japanese media reported on Tuesday night.
The J1 League’s fifth-place club has reluctantly agreed to the deal after the Brazilian requested the move on Monday, according to El Golazo.
“The club asked that he stay with us for the rest of the season,” general manager Haruo Shoji told the newspaper. “We set a transfer fee that we didn’t expect any club to meet, but [R&F] are willing to pay it.”
Renato became a star at Frontale after joining the club in 2012 and immediately breaking onto the starting lineup. The midfielder has scored nine goals this season, including the team’s second in a 2-0 win against FC Tokyo this past Saturday.
“It hurts to lose a player [of his abilities] but we’re strong enough that no matter who replaces him we’ll still be in good shape,” Shoji added.
With the Chinese Super League’s transfer window scheduled to close on Thursday, Renato will enter the country on Wednesday to complete a medical check and sign his contract.