Brentford FC can confirm that all paperwork is now complete and long-serving midfield player Nico Yennaris has left West London to sign for Chinese Super League side Beijing Sinobo Guoan. The 25-year-old ended a five-year association with The Bees when he completed his move to China. An undisclosed fee has been agreed for the transfer and Nico joins the team that finished fourth in the Chinese Super League last season as well as winning the Chinese FA Cup.
Brentford signed Nico from Arsenal in January 2014. He came through the ranks at the North London side, having joined The Gunners at the age of seven, and signed his first professional deal in 2010, just after his 17th birthday. He played four games in total for Arsenal, including one in a Premier League game against Manchester United, and had loan spells at Notts County and AFC Bournemouth. He represented England at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 level and won ten caps in total.
After a slow start to his Brentford career, which included a loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, Nico established himself in a central midfield position. In five years with The Bees he played 157 games in all competitions and scored 12 goals, 144 of those games – and all the goals – came in the league with 136 in the Sky Bet Championship. Included in that was an ever-present season in 2016/17 when Nico played 49 games and scored six times.
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, said: "Nico has been an important member of the First Team squad for a number of seasons. He now has a fantastic opportunity in a new country, and the decision to sell makes financial sense for Brentford too. We wish him well in Beijing."
Thomas Frank, Brentford FC Head Coach, added: “Nico has given his all for Brentford during the time I have worked with him and has developed as a player during his years here. He has been a good player for us and a good person to have around the Training Ground. He has leadership qualities, has fit in with our pressing game and scores goals.
“Nico has a great opportunity for a new football experience. We are pleased for him that he can make such a move and wish him all the best for his future career.”