Hamsik brings record-breaking spell at Napoli to close as €20m China transfer is completed

The Slovakian midfielder is leaving the Serie A outfit after close to 12 years of loyal service to take on a new challenge with Dalian Yifang

Marek Hamsik has brought a record-breaking spell at Napoli to a close after completing a switch to Chinese side Dalian Yifang.

Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed the attacking midfielder's move on his official Twitter account.

He said: “The deal with Dalian has been reached. I wish Marek to be happy in China.

“Napoli's doors will always been open for him.”

Lawyers of the Serie A side had revealed on Wednesday that an agreement had been reached to take Hamsik to China.

Mattia Grassani told Radio Kiss Kiss: “Hamsik is a Dalian player from this evening.”

With a deal now done, the Slovakia international is expected in China on Friday to push through the formalities of signing a contract and joining his new team-mates.

It had appeared at one stage as though the 31-year-old may see a move blocked.

Hamsik Napoli Crvena zvezda Champions League

Differences over the fee to be paid for his services led to talks breaking down.

The Italian club went as far as releasing a statement saying: “Napoli has decided to suspend the sale of Marek Hamsik to the Chinese [club Dalian Yifang] because the methods of payment of the amount agreed do not coincide with the agreements previously reached.”

Negotiations were then revived for a player who has long been linked with a move to Asia.

A compromise has been reached, with it suggested that Dalian will be paying €20 million (£18m/$23m) across two instalments.

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An initial payment of €5m will be made immediately, with a further €15m to follow within the next 12 months.

Hamsik will depart Napoli have made a lasting impression on the Serie A side.

He took in 520 appearances for the club, with his haul of 121 goals – including a century of efforts in the Italian top-flight – seeing him pass the legendary Diego Maradona as the club’s all-time leading marksman.