Football

WBA sign Zhang and Rodriguez

West Brom have signed China international striker Zhang Yuning from Vitesse Arnhem for an undisclosed fee.

In a statement released on the club's official website, Albion described the deal as a "development project" for the 20-year-old in the hope he can make the breakthrough in the Premier League, but said he will immediately join German side Werder Bremen on a two-year loan.

Zhang joined Vitesse from Hangzhou Greentown in 2015 and played alongside Chelsea loanee Lewis Baker, scoring four goals in 27 Eredivisie appearances, and was part of the team which won the Dutch Cup last season.

He also scored twice on his international debut for China against Trinidad and Tobago last June and has made nine appearances for Marcello Lippi's side.

West Brom said that Zhang would not have been granted a work permit as China sit outside the top 50 in Fifa's world rankings and saw the Bundesliga as ideal for his development as a player.

Meanwhile, the club also confirmed yesterday that they have signed Jay Rodriguez from Premier League rivals Southampton.

The 27-year-old has long been linked with a move to The Hawthorns and West Brom chose an unusual away to confirm the deal.

Responding to a tweet from a fan asking if they had signed anyone ahead of the new season, Midlands club Albion replied with a four-second clip of Rodriguez saying "yes we have".

Southampton said they had received an undisclosed fee for Rodriguez who made 126 appearances for them after joining from Burnley in 2012. But while his time with the south-coast club saw Rodriguez make his England debut in a friendly against Chile in November 2013, it also saw him sidelined for 11 months with a knee injury that ruled him out of the 2014 World Cup.

"After one or two near misses I'm absolutely buzzing to be here," Rodriguez said.

"The most important thing for any player is to be wanted - and Tony Pulis and Albion have made it clear just how much they have wanted me to join. That's fantastic for any footballer to hear." - WIRE SERVICES