Chinese Super League 2016

Carlos Tevez to rake in mountain of cash in China as Shanghai Shenhua confirm signing

Argentina star the latest international name lured to Chinese football for eye-watering sums

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 10:34am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 December, 2016, 9:18am

Argentina’s former Manchester United and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has signed for Shanghai Shenhua in the latest big-money Chinese deal, the club said yesterday.

The acquisition of the 32-year-old from Buenos Aires side Boca Juniors will “greatly enhance” the team’s front line, Shenhua said.

“The club looks forward to Tevez helping Greenland Shenhua attack cities and strike stockades in Asian and domestic matches and contribute to more exciting games for fans,” the club said.

Shanghai Shenhua said on Thursday it paid a US$11 million transfer fee to Boca Juniors.

A person familiar with the negotiations said the 32-year-old Tevez would be paid US$40 million over two years. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to divulge details of the transaction.

Argentine media had previously reported Tevez would make US$84 million over two years under the contract – 20 times his previous earnings.

Tevez, who played for West Ham United, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus during a decade in Europe after leaving Boca for Brazil’s Corinthians in 2005, ended his second spell with the Argentine club on a high.

Having helped the club win the league title last year, Tevez starred in a 4-2 win over arch-rivals River Plate in the “superclasico” earlier this month, a victory that lifted Boca into first place in the championship.

Boca wished him good luck, saying he had left fans with “unforgettable memories” and telling him they would be “dreaming of your return”.

“We’ll work on bringing you back,” it added. “No effort is too great to have you wearing our shirt again.”

Tevez will join the rest of the squad, who are on the Japanese island of Okinawa, after passing a medical, according to Shenhua. The side, who appointed former Uruguay international Gus Poyet as manager last month, finished fourth in the 2016 Chinese Super League, which ran from March to the end of October, 16 points behind champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

Tevez will team up with other high-profile internationals at the club, including Senegalese striker Demba Ba, Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins and Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin.

The move makes Tevez the latest international name, many of them South American, lured to Chinese football for eye-watering sums of money.

Crosstown rivals Shanghai SIPG, coached by former Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas, last week agreed a reported US$73 million deal for Chelsea’s 25-year-old Brazilian midfielder Oscar.

Before the Oscar deal Chinese Super League clubs had already splashed out more than US$400 million on players this year, after President Xi Jinping laid out a vision of turning the country into a football power.

Chinese teams broke the Asian record three times in just 10 days in the January-February transfer window, and moved it still higher when Brazil’s Hulk joined SIPG for 55.8 million euros (HK$452 million) in July.

Significantly, Chinese clubs are now competing with European rivals for world-class players, who are opting for astronomical pay packets over the chance of a career in football’s top leagues.

Tevez married the mother of his three children, Vanesa Mansilla, last week in Uruguay only to discover that his home had been burgled when he returned.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Associated Press