Chinese Super League clubs and their government-boosted finances are becoming a threat not only to European clubs and the already bloated transfer market, but to the oversaturated transfer rumor mill as well. Case in point: Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas and the never-ending links to a number of clubs in Italy or England or Spain ... or even China?
Fàbregas already rejected the China option earlier this season, but apparently Shandong Luneng have been linked recently anyway. To their credit, the club, instead of enjoying the free marketing boost in having their name associated with the Spanish maestro, have decided to take the high road and issue a facetious response to the papers on their official Weibo page.
"Yikes! What a super competent agent we have. But Fàbregas is not our cup of tea. Please, for God's sake do not spread the fake news. Shandong Luneng will not buy another foreign player this season. Our coaching staff have already made elaborate arrangements for our foreign players."
"In the meantime, we will remain committed to producing home-grown talents for the Luneng academy. How about bringing up our own Fàbregas..."
-Source: Weibo via FourFourTwo
Luneng already have Brazilian players Gil and Diego Tardelli, as well as strikers Papiss Cissé and Graziano Pellè, who previously played in the Premier League for Newcastle and Southampton respectively. Pellè was also among the names linked by the press to a Chelsea transfer last year before completing his switch to the Chinese club in July.
In any case, good on Luneng for trying to develop their own Fàbregas in their academy, as this will be no easy task for any club. But at the very least, Chelsea can cross one name off the long list of potential suitors for Fàbregas this summer.