Vietnamese striker Le Cong Vinh has officially signed for Japanese side Consadole Sapporo on loan from V.League club Song Lam Nghe An.
The deal was announced at a press conference on Monday afternoon in Hanoi, where representatives from the J.League Division 2 side were present.
Cong Vinh, who currently leads the goalscoring charts with 14 strikes in as many games for league leaders Song Lam, will join the J2 team in August, with the contract lasting until January 2014.
"Compared to my previous switch to Portugal, this move has a totally different meaning; last time, I was an apprentice [but] this time, I will come to play football and to prove myself," he said.
"I want to set an example for young players by [taking] this move. I hope the fans will support me."
"Consadole Sapporo have had experience playing in J.League, the top tier of Japan," Sapporo president Nonomura Yoshikazu added.
"However, we were relegated because of poor results. At present, our team is composed of many young and inexperienced players. With the addition of Le Cong Vinh, we hope for improved results in the coming time.
"This is a good time for both clubs to meet and cooperate. We know Song Lam need Cong Vinh but we should not let this chance pass by. We hope to set an example to Vietnamese players by this move and to help improve Vietnamese football."
Song Lam have only recently bought the striker, who was on loan from Ha Noi FC before that.
Vietnamese major news websites had already reported that Cong Vinh would join Sapporo in August before the deal was announced, and it is well known that the J2 club has been following him since January this year.
Song Lam president Nguyen Hong Thanh confirmed on Sunday that the club had agreed to loan Cong Vinh to Sapporo for a year, with the Japanese club reportedly paying about 1 billion VND (about USD 50,000) as a loan fee.
Cong Vinh is also the all-time V.League top scorer with 99 goals so far and has vowed to score his 100th league goal this weekend before departing for Japan.
"Personally, I regret that I might lose the chance to be the V.League top scorer and set a new record of 100 league goals," he admitted.
"Nevertheless, this is a good chance and I want to take it."