China defender hoping to focus on what he does best after sealing move to celtic It was the third long-haul flight for Du Wei in a week. But people failed to discern even a trace of fatigue on the face of China's latest export before he boarded a UK-bound jet on Wednesday morning at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport. His eyes beamed with hope, joy and, if you want to name it, relief. The 23-year-old Chinese international defender, had gone through a tormenting three-month spell, watching, helplessly, while his old club Shanghai Shenhua and Celtic traded offer and counter-offer over the table. The drawn-out talks made the beginning of his European career, which starts with a four month-loan to the Glasgow team, such a stressful experience that he had to sweep back into Shanghai to handle personal matters last Saturday just three days after rushing to Scotland to meet the August 31 transfer deadline. 'I am glad that it's all over and I can again focus on football itself,' Du told Footy last Sunday in his spacious apartment on the fringe of Shanghai's Pudong district. Like most Chinese youngsters of his age, Du lives with his parents, both of whom are retired professional cyclists. The family moved in last year when the senior Du and his wife relocated from their native Henan province in the interior. 'We have been separated for most of the past decade and now it is time for departure again,' moaned Zhang Shuli, Du's mother, who remembered almost every detail of the first trip the teenaged Du made to Shanghai in 1995. But the sentiment didn't win an echo from the excited son. 'It's a dream come true,' said Du. 'It has never been off my mind since the 2002 World Cup.' Already touted as China's star defender of the future even in his apprentice days, Du earned himself the honour of representing China in the country's World Cup debut. Although he warmed the bench for most of the tournament and China suffered an early exit, Du said it was really an 'eye-opener'. 'I came to realise that I would never make substantial improvements unless I went to Europe to experience the highest form of professional football,' Du said. The resolve was reinforced by the disastrous plunge of Chinese soccer following the World Cup. Although the local government-backed Shenhua remained a safe haven from the widespread financial woes caused by flagging attendance and dwindling business interest - they went on to snatch the domestic title in 2003 - the off-pitch mayhem in the Chinese Super League, along with the national team's abortive 2006 World Cup qualifying attempt last year, impacted on Du. 'I should say I am disappointed by the status quo,' Du admitted. 'We have so many talents but domestic soccer is just not in the right condition in many other aspects. I understand, though, this may be the growing pains for a soccer industry that is no more than 10 years old, but a whole generation of good Chinese players are at risk.' That explains why Du, normally a quiet personality, became so determined in his pursuit of the Scottish transfer. He raised some eyebrows by making a public appeal to Shenhua, who had trouble agreeing with Celtic over the fee, to let him go, something most home-grown Chinese players prefer to do privately. But even though he has now managed to make his way into European football, it does not necessarily mean his time at Parkhead will be rosy. Celtic have a get-out clause and can end his four-year deal in January if the international fails to settle at the club. The Scottish giants, especially manager Gordon Strachan, hope that the 1.87 metre Du, whose ability in the air and defending prowess impressed the club during a trial early last month, might bring some stability to Celtic's jittery backline. But skeptics question whether his lanky figure can withstand the bone-bruising style of British football. 'Four months is not a long time to adapt to a new league and Mr Strachan asked me to pump up my muscles when we first met,' said Du. 'But it's all down to one's confidence and I am confident enough to take up the challenge.'