Santalab to play in China

Brendon Santalab has become the latest Australian talent to secure a deal in Asia with Chinese Super League club Chengdu Blades convincing the 26-year-old to part ways with the North Queensland Fury.

Brendon Santalab has become the latest Australian talent to secure a deal in Asia with Chinese Super League club Chengdu Blades convincing the 26-year-old to part ways with the North Queensland Fury.

Santalab, who played 23 games for Sydney, signed on to become part of the Fury's inaugural squad in November last year.

But Chengdu has been pursuing the striker for a number of weeks and came to an agreement with the new Hyundai A-League franchise to end his two-year deal with the Fury. Fury CEO Dean Hassall said the details of the deal will not be made public.

Ryan Griffiths, Joel Griffiths, Mark Bridge and Mark Milligan are among the players to have recently played in China, with Milligan turning his back on a possible A-League deal to play for Shanghai Shenhua.

A new AFC regulation allows Asian leagues to recruit three international visa players, plus one player from the AFC region to their clubs. That has prompted a move from clubs in China and Korea in particular to attempt to lure Australian players to their leagues.