Shanghai SIPG have just paid £46m to Zenit St Petersburg for the Brazilian international Hulk, the striker/winger joining the likes of Demba Ba and Obafemi Martins in the cash rich Chinese Super League.
In a league where money is pretty much no object when it comes to trying to attract big name players from the European leagues, China is showing signs of gradually becoming a threat to the likes of the Premier League when competing for players.
Hulk has gone straight to the top of the earnings league in China, his 20m euros (approx £16.7m) a year pushing Obafemi Martins, Demba Ba and the rest, down the list of top earners (see earnings table below).
Hulk basically earns around £1m every three weeks.
Newcastle’s capture of Dwight Gayle and imminent signing of Matt Ritchie, points very much towards Rafa Benitez addressing the lack of pace in the Newcastle team and recognising the essential need for quick and mobile players, if Newcastle are going to smoothly bounce back into the Premier League.
Two players who definitely don’t fit into the quick and mobile bracket are Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote.
Both are now in the final year of their contracts and have been repeatedly linked with Chinese clubs, Tiote almost joining one during last season.
Surely now is the time for Rafa to push through the sales of this pair and help make room for players who can be assets in the Championship and beyond.
With the money getting to ever more ludicrous levels, surely Tiote and Cisse will also find a move to China irresistible – especially with the likes of Demba Ba and Obafemi Martins on around £5m a year each.
Table courtesy of FinanceFootball.com