When you are in the midst of a 12 match unbeaten run, and runaway leaders in the Premier League, the feeling from the outside is that everyone at Chelsea must be thrilled at the position that they are in.
But that is not always the case, especially with players on the fringes of the first team. Shanghai SIPG’s general manager Sui Guoyang has pulled back the curtain a little on Antonio Conte and Chelsea saying that Oscar fell out of favour with Conte because he didn’t fit into the Italian’s favoured 3-4-3 formation.
The Brazilian’s final appearance for Chelsea came against Spurs in November and he will quit Stamford Bridge to move to China in a big-money deal when the transfer window opens in January.
Guoyang claimed Oscar’s move to Shanghai is fuelled by his desire to play regularly. He hadn’t started in the Premier League since Chelsea’s defeat to Liverpool on September 16.
“Oscar has fallen out of favour with Conte because he has no place in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation,” the official told reporters.
“It played a key part in his desire to leave. He felt terrible to sit on the bench and not be involved. He is so young.
“Oscar wants to come back to the Brazil national team. Some of his compatriots play in the CSL and they still get called up to the national team. So it helped him to make the decision to move to China.
“And of course, the appointment of [ex-Chelsea boss] Andre Villas Boas is a plus. Oscar knows we are an ambitious club.”
Oscar is understood to have signed a £20million-a-year deal with the Shanghai outfit and Guoyang admitted the money on offer was a big factor in the player’s decision to move to the Far East.
“If we don’t offer €60 million, do you think he will bother to come?” Guoyang added.
“There’s such a huge gap between CSL and Europe’s top leagues. It’s unrealistic to suggest that we would have done it in a different way.
“The cost of signing the player was €60m indeed, not £60m. The club’s senior management personally flew to Paris to seal the deal.”