The Chinese Super League is breaking all sorts of records, though it's only off the pitch for now. Carlos Tevez has signed for Shanghai Shenhua, reportedly becoming the world's best paid player in the process.
Argentina striker Carlos Tevez is the latest high profile player to join the exodus to the Far East, after agreeing a lucrative deal with Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua. The 32-year-old will be paid 84 million euro ($87.65 million) over the course of his two year contract, reportedly making him the best paid footballer in the world. The Chinese club also paid an 11 million transfer fee to Tevez' boyhood club Boca Juniors.
Both Boca Juniors and Shanghai Shenhua announced the transfer on Thursday. Boca Juniors' president Daniel Angelici tweeted his support for Tevez' move, while at the same time hinting that the player could come back to retire with the club using the hashtags #HastaProntoCarlitos #BocaEsTuCasa which translates to "See you soon Carlitos, Boca is your home."
Just a few weeks before the move was confirmed, the former Manchester United and Manchester City forward said he was still unsure about his future. "I could go (to China) or I could retire, I don't know," said Tevez during a press conference before a match against rivals River Plate.
Tevez' long-stated desire to retire at the Buenos Aires club will be put on hold at least, with the Argentinian unable to refuse Shanghai Shenhua's lavish offer.
Only two weeks ealier, Shenhua's city rivals Shanghai IPG signed Brazil and Chelsea midfielder Oscar for a fee thought to be in the region of 60 million euro. It was reported that the Brazilian will earn what was then a record salary of about 61,000 euro (64,000) a day. In comparison, Tevez will now earn a whopping 109,589 euro ($114,755) a day.
Brazilian forward Hulk made the move to Shanghai SIPG where he will earn more than 20 million euro a year.
Chinese Super League clubs have made a huge impact in the football world of late, with a host of clubs opening their chequebooks in order to persuade big name players and coaches to join them. Brazilians Hulk and Ramires made the move to China earlier this year, along with Colombian star Jackson Martinez and Argentina's forward Ezequiel Lavazzi, while Obafemi Martins and Demba Ba will both link up with Tevez at Shenhua. Coaches Luiz Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas and Manuel Pellegrini have also been tempted to China's top league.
The Bundesliga has also been a productive market for the Far East league. Former Cologne and Werder Bremen striker Anthony Ujah transferred to Chinese side Liaoning Whowin during the summer where he has kept his goal-scoring form. Lukas Podolski has also received a multi-million euro offer to play for Beijing Guoan, according to his current club Galatasaray.
The Chinese Super League shopping spree has definitely caught the attention of European teams who until now had controlled the transfer market, with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte recently labelling it "a danger for all." Many believe that the growing interest in football in China as well as its booming economy can only signal to more exorbitant signings in the future.