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Hao Haidong completes England club move
Updated: 2005-02-04 03:01

China's Hao Haidong has completed his on-off move to Sheffield United after clearing up a legal row over unpaid business debts, the English club said on Thursday.

A Chinese court had banned the 34-year-old striker from leaving the country because he had failed to repay debts of $520,000 paid to the player's boot company in 2002.

But Hao is now set to arrive in England later this month after resolving the problem before the January transfer window closed.

"We have worked tremendously hard on this deal and are pleased that we have now got the green light to bring Hao over here," United vice-chairman Terry Robinson told the club's website.

"Hao is just waiting for a visa to give him UK residency, which will be granted after the Chinese New Year."

The Chinese New Year lasts for three days from February 9.

A former bad boy of Chinese soccer, Hao has become a talismanic figure for China and played more than 90 times for his country.

His club Dalian Shide agreed to let him move as a reward for his distinguished service at the club.

Hao was banned for a year after spitting at a referee in 1998 and became embroiled in a public row with former China coach Bora Milutinovic over the Yugoslav's selection policy in 2001.

United manager Neil Warnock lined up Hao in a bid to gain access to the Far East's lucrative market.

The club run an academy on China's southern Hainan island and have invited several young Chinese players to train in Sheffield.

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