Five faces that could head to the Chinese Super LeagueWhat once was seen as a flash in the pan for many, the Chinese Super League isn’t just taking veteran stars to the Far East anymore, but players in their prime like Oscar from Chelsea most recently.
A whole host of ex-Premier League talent now ply their trade on Chinese shores, like Demba Ba, Ramires, Paulinho and Graziano Pelle (thought to be earning one of the sport’s top wages).
With this in mind and the winter window approaching, Coral football writers have compiled five faces that could be heading to China in the near future…
John TerryThe Chelsea captain has been a rumoured CSL target since his protracted contract negotiations last season.
Terry’s contract runs out this summer and that is when the Chinese clubs may pounce, without even having to spend a penny.
Now 36, the four-time Premier League winner isn’t playing regularly at Chelsea under Antonio Conte and is a reported target for Gus Poyet’s Shanghai Shenhua – a team that possess former Prem player Ba and Obafemi Martins.
One last big payout could be too much to turn down and Terry is 7/2 with Coral to sign for any Chinese club next.
Wayne RooneyEngland and Manchester United captain Rooney seems to be the latest Prem player to be offered a mega-deal to head to China.
Guangzhou Evergrande, the richest club in China, are thought to have offered Rooney a package of £700k per week in an attempt to sign him.
Evergrande, with an optimistic club motto of “Be the best forever”, are managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari and possess Paulinho and Jackson Martinez amongst their ranks.
Rooney, England’s all-time leading goalscorer, has been a bit part player for Jose Mourinho and his new look United and could be tempted by a deal. However, heading to America’s MLS is also an option.
He is 8/1 to join any Chinese club next in his career.
John Obi MikelMikel, 29, is reportedly poised to leave Chelsea in January after failing to make his way into Conte’s Blues plans.
The 78-capped Nigerian has offers from Valencia, Inter Milan, Marseille and of course the riches of China.
Mikel joined Chelsea in 2006 and has won every major club competition with the Stamford Bridge side, including the Champions League – a final in which he started.
However, a stumbling block to this move could be the Nigerian’s young family that he may not want to upheave and move across the globe.
Lucas LeivaOne of the first European footballers to create a media presence in China on Sina Weibo, Lucas has always been aware Chinese football fans and could be the latest South American to head to the Far East.
The Brazilian has completed 90 minutes just three times in the Premier League this term and has found playing time hard to come by.
Now 29, it is unlikely his contract will be renewed when it ends this summer, and could look to land a bumper deal in China.
Wilfried BonyEarlier this year, Stoke City boss Mark Hughes revealed Ivory Coast international Bony, has a Chinese Super League sale clause in his contract allowing him to be sold to a CSL club by parent club Manchester City.
Currently on loan with the Potters, Bony has scored just twice in nine league games and looks a prime China transfer candidate.