If there were lingering doubts as to just how far the Chinese Super League might take their MLS-on-steroids act*, the latest stories breaking in the English media should solidify their intent to basically buy their way to the top of the football power rankings. Or at least attempt to. But you know, China, if I may address thee in the familiar, this is not how it's supposed to go. You're supposed to just pay over the odds for washed up players. Not players in their prime like Alex Teixeira or Oscar. Wait, what?
Chelsea are believed to have rejected an incredible offer of up to £75million for Oscar.
Chelsea rejected a stunning £57.5million January bid for Oscar from Chinese club Jiangsu Suning.
-source: The Sun
This how mad things have gotten: The Sun's version of events are not even the most outrageous version!
Both papers claim that Jiangsu will have a second try, most likely at the end of Chelsea's season, at adding Oscar to their cadre of Brazilian stars that already includes Ramires and Alex Teixeira as well. While the Chinese Super League does have a strict limit on the number of foreign players (4 foreigners + 1 extra from an AFC country), and only four can be named in the matchday squad (well, 3+1 as per the previous criteria), if Jiangsu, who are currently at the max, are willing to spend a near British-transfer record amount of money on Oscar, they probably have a plan for making room for him. (And it's not like the league haven't relaxed restrictions before.)
One would like to think that even if Chelsea were to accept such a crazy offer, that Oscar would say no, not necessarily out of loyalty even, but just the fact that he is and he can continue to be a star in Europe for several more years either at Chelsea or whatever other "big name" club his road may lead to ... but money talks and sometimes very loudly so.
If the Chinese Super League are truly able to back these purchases with money, fame, and glory — unlike, say, when Drogba and Anelka were reportedly not paid and got their contracts canceled with FIFA's help — we could be on the cusp of a shift in the balance of power in world football. Or at least some serious competition for the Premier League's financial advantage over most of the rest of Europe. Interesting times...
going to change my name to Grahaminho and sell myself to China for £30m— Graham MacAree (@MacAree) February 5, 2016