Abdoulay Diaby

Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon have signed Mali striker Abdoulay Diaby from Belgian champions Club Brugge.

The 27-year-old’s five-year contract includes a US $70 million release clause.

Diaby has moved for an undisclosed fee after three seasons in Belgium.

“I am very happy to be here. Sporting CP is a great club and as soon as I heard about the possibility of coming here I did not hesitate,” he told the club’s official website.

“I know that Portuguese football has great clubs, that are always participating in European competitions.

“The championship level is good and I think it might be interesting for me.”

Sporting CP president Sousa Cintra describes Diaby as “probably the fastest player in Portuguese football now.”

The Mali international joined Club Brugge from French outfit Lille in July 2015 and scored 36 goals in 108 games winning two league titles.

Born in France to Malian parents, Diaby scored on his debut for the Eagles as they beat Ethiopia 2-0 away in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifer.

He played in the last group match against Guinea at the 2015 tournament, after the West Africans suffered an early exit to Guinea after the drawing of lots.

Injuries have restricted his international appearances to five goals in 12 matches, scoring the only goal in a 1-1 friendly draw against Japan in March.

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