By Michael Church
(Reuters) - The exodus of foreigners from the Chinese Super League due to the coronavirus pandemic continued on Monday as former Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon joined CSKA Moscow on loan from Dalian Professional.
The Venezuela striker's departure comes three weeks after coach Rafa Benitez announced he was leaving the club due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 31-year-old striker scored 14 times in 28 games in all competitions for Dalian during his 18-month stint in China.
He is the latest international name to quit the league. Former Brazil striker Hulk left Shanghai SIPG at the end of last year to return to his homeland while Odion Ighalo signed for Saudi Arabian side Al Shabab after his loan spell at Manchester United from Shanghai Shenhua came to an end last month.
Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira, meanwhile, departed Shanghai SIPG two seasons after leading the club to their first – and so far only – Chinese Super League title.
The outflow of talent comes amid growing concerns over the financial well-being of several top flight clubs, with Chinese media reporting a number of sides are struggling economically.
Newly crowned champions Jiangsu FC are facing the prospect of losing head coach Cosmin Olaroiu while the club’s key player, Alex Teixeira, is out of contract and has shown few signs of returning to the team.
Midfielder Ivan Santini has already left the club, signing for NK Osijek in Croatia on Saturday.
Speculation is also mounting over the future of Guangzhou FC’s Paulinho, with the former Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona midfielder recently linked with a move to Major League Soccer.
(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Pritha Sarkar)