Former Chelsea boss and current Shanghai SIPG manager Andre Villas-Boas is reportedly set to offer Chelsea a staggering £60m bid to sign the Blues midfielder Oscar in January.
The transfer will be a record for a Chinese club and will be the fourth most expensive Premier League departure after Bale, Ronaldo and Suarez. Not bad company to be in.
Chelsea rejected an offer from Jiangsu Suning, who are also managed by former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, for Oscar last summer, but the Blues will not be able to turn down £60m for the Brazil international this time around.
The transfer funds will be like a early Christmas present for Antonio Conte as he continues to rebuild his Chelsea squad. With no Champions League football this season, Chelsea’s transfer budget was to be smaller than it has in prior years. But no longer. Now Conte can go after than world class defender that he has been craving.
As for Oscar, the 25-year-old has dropped down the pecking order this season under Antonio Conte and has not started in the Premier League for the leaders since since the 2-1 defeat by Liverpool in mid-September.
Oscar will be the latest player with Chelsea connections to play in China, following Didier Drogba, Ramires, Nicolas Anelka and Demba Ba.
He leaves Stamford Bridge having won the Premier League title, Europa League, League Cup and twice winning the club’s goal of the season award.
Given the riches on offer, the Chinese Super League is quickly becoming a serious option for Europe’s most high profile players.
Oscar joins the Chinese side at a time of financial boom for the league, with five of the 14 best-paid footballers in the world now playing in the CSL.
Graziano Pelle, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Jackson Martinez are all recent arrivals in the league, while Villas-Boas himself is also on big money, earning £11m-a-year since replacing former England boss Sven Goran-Eriksson.
Shanghai finished third in the league last season, meaning that their Asian Champions League campaign begins early in the play-off rounds in February.
They have never won the Super League, but did finish second under Eriksson in 2015.