Football: German club Wolfsburg to sign China midfielder Zhang Xizhe

BERLIN (AFP) - German Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg expect to complete the signing of China midfielder Zhang Xizhe from Beijing Guoan in the coming days, Wolves' director of sport Klaus Allofs said Saturday.

"We are confident of completing the signing of Zhang Xizhe and of officially presenting him as a new signing in the coming week," Allofs told the club's website.

Zhang, 23, scored six goals in 29 Chinese Super League games for Beijing last season as an attacking midfielder and has been learning German. He was also named in the Chinese Super League's team of the year for 2013 and 2014.

"I have been in contact with Wolfsburg for more than a year," said the China international, who was voted the 2012 young player of the year by the Chinese Football Association.

"I have started to learn German and see it as just a matter of time before things get going."

Zhang is set to become the first Chinese player to sign for Wolfsburg and his arrival will help raise the profile of both his new club and their sponsors, car manufacturers Volkswagen, in the Far East.

"He is a young player with plenty of potential to develop and although the jump from China to play in the Bundesliga is big, we trust him to manage it," added Allofs. "Of course, we will give him time to do that."

Wolfsburg, who play Paderborn on Sunday and are second only to Bayern Munich in the German top flight, will launch the club's website in Chinese on Monday.

"We have many fans in China and we want to make sure that with this new facility, they are well informed about the club," explained Allofs. The German club, who are on course to play in the Champions League next season for the first time since 2009/10, already have official accounts on Chinese social media channels Sina Weibo, Youku and WeChat.