England's Sheffield United has taken a 90 per cent share in struggling Chengdu Five Bull, becoming the first foreign club to take a controlling interest in a Chinese club. United chairman Kevin McCabe confirmed the deal yesterday during a visit to the Sichuan capital, but would not disclose terms of the contract. The team will be called the Chengdu Blades, after the English team's nickname, and Sheffield will send out two coaches to train the Chinese club as part of the deal. Chengdu finished fourth from bottom in China's second division table. The deal was probably a bargain for the English club as the Chengdu side were known to be financially struggling after the club's major stakeholder, China Tobacco Co, pulled out last year, passing its shares over to the care of the Chengdu Football Association. The Chinese FA has sanctioned the deal, with a spokesman saying: 'Clubs with foreign capital will be treated the same as other clubs. 'We welcome Sheffield United. As long as they obey the association's regulations, there will be no problems' Sheffield United, who are lying second in the English Championship, have been actively building links with China in recent years. Last year, they bought 34-year-old veteran international striker Hao Haidong for the nominal price of GBP1, a deal that observers said focused more on developing links with China than on Hao's goal-scoring ability. This week the Blades signed 24-year-old defender Zhang Yaokan on loan from Dalian Shide till the end of the season, after Hao recommended his former teammate. That deal had nearly collapsed after Dalian asked for GBP1 million for the young international, but they reached the loan deal this week, reportedly for GBP70,000, with Sheffield keeping an option to buy Zhang at the end of the season. The club also runs a football academy on Hainan island, and has a China-specific academy in its own Bramall Lane training grounds, where young Chinese players are coached by compatriots, whilst learning English and furthering their education. Hao (pictured) will return to China to take up a coaching role alongside manager Li Bing, and help implement the English style of club management, McCabe said. He told his shareholders last month that Sichuan had a population of 100 million, and said: 'Although I do not expect them all to become fans, this does present us with a huge potential fan base with which we can develop both the Chengdu Five Bull and Sheffield United brands'. He said the initial focus would be on improving sponsorship and increasing attendance, and there were plans to open a Blades theme bar in the city centre. The group already owns properties in Shanghai, Shenyang and Shenzhen, and yesterday McCabe said: 'I do not hide the fact that I also have this purpose in Chengdu'.