|By PADDY HIGGS
Australia international Matt McKay is set to play a key part in Changchun Yatai's Chinese Super League title ambitions in 2013.
The 30-year-old midfielder linked up with his new team-mates on Monday, after a whirlwind transfer was agreed with K-League outfit Busan I'Park.
In a statement of intent ahead of the new season, Changchun announced they had increased their operating budget to ¥200,000,000, with bringing in a former player the first step to bolstering the playing squad.
McKay was that player, with Changchun willing to use a full foreigner spot on the Socceroo due to their Asian slot already taken by Uzbekistan defender Anzur Ismailov.
McKay is remembered fondly for his spell at Changchun in 2009, playing 12 league games while on-loan from former club Brisbane Roar.
He was brought to the club for that initial stint by manager Li Shubin, who is once again back in charge after replacing Svetozar Sapuric at the helm.
"We knew him well before, and he played quite well in the K-League last season," Li said.
"So we didn't need to trial McKay to sign him."
Changchun finished sixth last campaign, having last won the CSL title in 2007 and reached the AFC Champions League in 2010.