Oscar, the 25 year old Brazilian midfielder, of Chelsea FC is rumored to be heading to Chinese club Shanghai SIPG in a massive transfer arrangement. The deal is speculated to be “90% complete” with Shanghai forking out a whopping £60 million. If the deal is finalized for that amount it will be a record for Chelsea Football Club as the most profitable transfer in club history.

Last year Chelsea rebuffed a similar offer from Chinese club Jiangsu Suning £57M) and they’ve resisted lesser temptations from Juventus in Italy. But now that Antonio Conte has settled in as Chelsea manager and the Blues are top of the table with Oscar out of the rotation there’s no need to keep him. There’s especially no need when an offer of this magnitude surfaces.

It would be similar if someone can along and offered you $1.5M for your house that is probably worth around $750K, you’re going to take it the money no matter what your sentiments are. Oscar doesn’t fit into the 3-4-3 philosophy and with the likes of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic firmly locked in the central midfield spots he’s expendable at this point. If the deal goes through Oscar will connect with his former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas who heads up the club. He’ll also have fellow Brazilians Hulk and Elkeson as teammates. His wages will be somewhere around £90,000 per week which is enough to counterbalance the fact you’ll be playing against lesser competition, without the glitz and glamour of the “UEFA” spotlight, in a distant foreign country.

It’s shocking to me that a 25 year old, in his prime, would accept such a deal but it’s a trend we’ve seen more and more recently. Players are beginning to take the money and head to China, leaving accolades and top flight leagues behind. It’s not just players near the end of their career, it’s players near age 30 that were playing for big European clubs, who are getting paid a small fortune.

(*Note the amounts are transfer fees, not player wages)

  • Alex Teixeira, 26 (Jiangsu Suning – €50M) / Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Jackson Martinez, 30 (Guangzhou Evergrande – €42M) / Porto & Atletico
  • Hulk, 30 (Shanghai SIPG – €55.8M) / Zenit St. Petersburg & Porto
  • Graziano Pelle, 31 (Shandong Luneng) / Southampton
  • Gervinho, 29 (Hebei China Fortune) / Roma, Arsenal & Lille
  • Ezequiel Lavezzi, 31 (Hebei China Fortune) / PSG & Napoli
  • Papiss Cisse, 31 (Shandong Luneng) / Newcastle
  • Asamoah Gyan, 31 (Shanghai SIPG) / Sunderland
  • Ramires, 29 (Jiangsu Suning) / Chelsea
  • Demba Ba, 31 (Shanghai Shenhua) / Newcastle, Beskitas, Chelsea, West Ham