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English Premier League 2016-17

China set to smash Asian transfer record again as £60m Oscar goes to Shanghai

Midfielder is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2016, 10:04am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2016, 10:30pm

China’s winter transfer window looks set to open with a bang as Chelsea midfielder Oscar is set to join Shanghai SIPG in the latest record-breaking deal.

The Brazil international said the move is all but done.

“It’s 90 per cent done. It just depends on some bureaucratic details,” Brazil’s Globo quoted the midfielder as saying.

The 25-year-old will join up with admirer Andre Villas-Boas, SIPG’s new manager who previously tried to sign him for Tottenham Hotspur.

The fee has been variously put at 60 million (HK$494 million) or £60 million (HK$588 million). Either would surpass the Asian transfer record of €56 million SIPG paid for Brazilian Hulk in June.

And it looks like the record won’t last long, with Boca Juniors and Argentina striker Carlos Tevez linked with a move to Shanghai Shenhua for 80 million

Oscar has fallen out of favour under Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and looks set to triple his wages. Hulk is said to earn 350,000 a week and Oscar will likely earn at least that when he signs a four-year contract.

According to the Telegraph , Oscar has already told his teammates that he is moving, and Chinese reports confirmed the move.

Chelsea spent £25 million for the 25-year-old in 2012, and his transfer fee will be their biggest ever sale, beating the £50 million they received from Paris Saint-Germain for David Luiz in 2014.

Chelsea also cashed in on China’s big-money transfer binge last January, when they offloaded unwanted Ramires to Jiangsu Suning for 28 million.

That was then the new Asian transfer record, but it has been broken three times since as China’s clubs splash out.

Super League clubs are set to continue the spree that shocked world football last winter when the window opens on January 1.

Reports in Sotuh Korea claimed that Villas-Boas also made a plea to Swansea City’s Ki Sung-yeung to join SIPG.

“Fame is more important than money,” was the South Korea captain’s view according to SBS TV, though that seems to be a minority opinion with five of the 14 best-paid footballers in the world now playing in China.

Meanwhile, another player bound to be linked with China is captain John Terry, who will not be offered a new deal, according to The Times .

Former teammate Gus Poyet is the new manager of Shenhua, but The Times says Terry does not want to leave in January.

“John is our captain and I think he is doing a great job when he plays. Now he is not playing but he is helping me a lot in the changing room to send the right message to the players,” manager Conte said.

“I hope to have him available to play, but it’s also important to have him in this role ... John loves this club. I think it is important now to be focused on the moment and not think about the future.”

One club that might not be reaching for the chequebook are Guangzhou Evergrande, somewhat surprisingly.

“The coach is very satisfied with the team’s foreign players situation, there is no plan to change it,” Evergrande Group vice-president Liu Yongzhou said after his side were drawn against Hong Kong champions Eastern in the group stage of the 2017 AFC Champions League.