Wednesday 26 April 2017

Players who have swapped Chelsea for the Chinese Super League

Diego Costa, left, has been linked with a move to China, where he would find an old friend in Oscar, right
Diego Costa, left, has been linked with a move to China, where he would find an old friend in Oscar, right

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League.

China is proving attractive to many leading players at European clubs due to the seemingly vast riches on offer.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the other Blues players who have ended up in the Asian country:

NICOLAS ANELKA

Submitted a transfer request to leave Chelsea in December 2011 and signed for Shanghai Shenhua the following month. The Frenchman was added to the coaching staff a few months into his arrival but struggled to impose himself on the pitch, scoring just three times in 22 appearance before going on loan to Juventus the following year.

DIDIER DROGBA

Carried Chelsea to Champions League glory before opting to join Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua. Fared better than his old Blues strike partner, finding the net eight times from 11 appearances but, despite signing a two-and-a-half-year deal, he signed for Galatasaray six months after his arrival in China. Returned to Chelsea to great fanfare for the 2014-15 season before joining the Montreal Impact a year later.

DEMBA BA

Joined Shanghai Shenhua 18 months ago from Besiktas on a three-year deal with an annual salary reported to be worth more than £5million. The former Newcastle and Chelsea striker scored 14 times in 18 matches last year before suffering a horrible leg break in July which has ruled him out of action ever since.

RAMIRES

Signed for Jiangsu Suning from Chelsea 12 months ago in a deal believed to be worth £25million - a Chinese Super League record that would be broken twice in the following 10 days. The Brazilian midfielder was sent off on his debut but helped his new club finish runner-up to Guangzhou Evergrande in the league.

OSCAR

Joined Brazilian compatriot Ramires out of the door at Stamford Bridge last month after finding himself out of favour with manager Antonio Conte. Chelsea cashed in as they received a reported £52million from Shanghai SIPG, which gave the Blues a handsome profit of around £30million on the midfielder they bought from Brazilian club Internacional in 2012.

JOHN OBI MIKEL

The midfielder that Chelsea landed after a protracted transfer saga over a decade ago made a relatively quiet departure from Stamford Bridge this month when he signed for Tianjin TEDA.

And one manager...

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS

Sacked by Chelsea in March 2012 after only a few months in the job, the Portuguese left Tottenham after an equally disappointing stint before reviving his career at Zenit St Petersburg. He was appointed Shanghai SIPG manager in November 2016, succeeding former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Press Association

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