After their clubs’ spending spree last January, the Chinese Super League is eyeing more marquee players to lure to the Far East, with Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas thought to be their latest target.
The CSL flexed its financial muscles last month, luring a horde of high-profile players to play in East Asia. Indeed, the uber rich division has collectively spent no less than £202m on players thus far – more than what the clubs in the German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, and Italian Serie A have spent combined.
CSL’s total expenditure is set to rise in the coming weeks, with the Chinese transfer window still open until 26th February as they prepare for their season opener.
One Chinese club who are yet to splash the cash, however, are Shendong Luneng. The club as yet have only spent a humble £3.8m so far, despite the owners providing manager Felix Magath a huge transfer kitty thought to be in the nine-digit sum.
The Jinan province-based club are keen to change their fortunes this season after their close call last year, when they finished 14th, just two points clear from the drop zone. And with their funds still untouched, they have set their sights on their marquee signing – Cesc Fabregas.
Indeed, according to Spanish daily Fichajes, Shandong have been angling a move for the Spanish international in recent weeks. Chelsea, however, have rejected the Chinese clubs offers so far – although the Blues may be more open to selling the former Arsenal and Barcelona man come the summer.
Magath, for his part, is willing to be patient and wait on Fabregas to become available come the summer, when the CSL transfer window re-opens during the midseason. Whether Chelsea will be more amenable to letting the Spanish Word Cup winner go by then, of course, is still uncertain.
One thing is sure, with Shandong’s spending power – they are currently the 5th most valuable football team in China – they will definitely be confident they would be able to land Fabregas sooner or later.
It seems things may not be as they seem.
Speaking on the clubs Weibo account, a club representative laughed at such speculation linking Shandong with the midfield maestro.
“Yikes! What a super competent agent we have,” the club wrote on their Weibo account after the link. “But Fabregas 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.
Well, that’s that then.