Former Manchester United star Nicky Butt has committed to help South China in their quest for Asian glory after signing what is believed to be a record deal for a Hong Kong league player.
Butt, who left for Britain after a successful trial with the Caroliners last week, will return to the SAR next month to reinforce the side in their ongoing domestic campaign as well as the Asian Football Confederation Cup beginning in March.
South China chairman Steven Lo Kit-sing did not disclose details of the contract but said Butt will be paid just like an English Premier League player, which means the 35-year-old former England player could be earning around 25,000 (HK$306,292) per week in a deal that runs until May next year.
While in England, Butt is expected to head to the Manchester United training facility to keep himself fit and ready for his Hong Kong campaign.Apart from Butt, the Caroliners are also looking to sign up a Britain-based striker, Lo said.
He will not bring his family to the SAR as earlier planned, but his wife and three-year-old son will visit him every month, Lo said.
South China are looking to improve on their showing in the last AFC Cup, when they reached the round of 16, only to lose to Al Riffa of Bahrain.
The Caroliners have been drawn in Group H in the coming tournament with Chonburi of Thailand, Kingfisher East Bengal of India and Persipura Jayapura of Indonesia.
Lo said he hopes to persuade Butt to extend his contract if they reach the quarter-finals.
Butt scored a goal and set up the winner in South China’s 2-1 victory over TSW Pegasus in a First Division match at Hong Kong Stadium last week.