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Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
Everton's China deal
Everton have struck a deal with Chinese sponsors
Everton will sign World Cup defender Li Weifeng on loan after becoming the first club in Europe to strike a sponsorship deal with a Chinese company.

The Merseysiders have secured a two-year contract with Kejian Company, one of the Far East's leading manufacturers of mobile phones.

Weifeng, who played in the World Cup, is expected to arrive on Merseyside to begin a 12-month loan period after he receives a work permit.

He currently plays for Shenzhen Ping'an.

Everton are also expecting two Chinese players to join their academy in each of the two seasons of the sponsorship deal.

Members of the club's coaching staff will travel to China to help nurture the country's young talent.

The sponsorship deal was announced at simultaneous news conferences in Liverpool and Beijing.

Everton chairman Sir Philip Carter, who is in China, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be entering into this arrangement with a company which shares our belief in the virtues of professionalism and progressive thinking.

"Everton are also looking at going on a tour of China at some point during the course of the contract agreement."

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