Chelsea cash in on out-of-favour Oscar as Shanghai make £60m swoop
Chelsea have accepted a £60m offer from the club's former manager Andre Villas-Boas to take midfielder Oscar to China next month.
Oscar has told his Chelsea team-mates that he is moving to China, where he will link up with Villas-Boas at Shanghai SIPG, having fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge under head coach Antonio Conte.
Jiangsu Suning, who made an offer to sign Oscar last summer, and Guangzhou Evergrande, managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari, also showed an interest but Shanghai are now completing the formalities for the 25-year-old.
Chelsea could not refuse £60m for Oscar, who they signed from Brazilian club Internacional for £25m in 2012, and he becomes the most expensive player to leave the club - beating the £50m the Blues received for David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain in 2014.
Villas-Boas already has two Brazilians, Hulk and Elkeson, in his squad. The Portuguese tried to sign Oscar for Tottenham Hotspur before he joined Chelsea and has remained a big fan of the player.
This will be the second successive season in which Chelsea have sold one of their Brazilians to China for big money, having recouped over £20m from Jiangsu Suning for Ramires in January.
Ramires managed to double the salary he was paid at Chelsea by moving to China on a £10m-a-year-deal and Oscar is expected to earn almost £350,000-a-week at Shanghai.
Oscar started the first five Premier League games of the season under Conte, but lost his place after the home defeat by Liverpool. Since Conte’s successful switch in formation, Oscar has started only in the EFL Cup tie against West Ham United, which Chelsea lost.
He was not in the squad for last weekend’s victory over West Brom due to illness and could well have played his last game for the club.
During his four-and-a-half years at Chelsea, Oscar has won the Premier League, Europa League and League Cup, making over 200 appearances.
The prospect of him moving to China increases the likelihood of Cesc Fabregas staying at Stamford Bridge for at least the rest of the season.
Asked about Fabregas’s future ahead of tonight’s Premier League game against Sunderland, Conte said: “Cesc is an important player for us. He played a key match against Manchester City and played very well. In the last match, he came on did very well during the game. I have still to decide the starting XI, but Cesc is always a good choice, for me.”
Chelsea have confirmed that defender Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract.
Meanwhile, Chelsea and Manchester City have been fined £100,000 and £35,000 respectively for failing to control their players during their stormy encounter on December 3. Sergio Aguero’s reckless tackle on David Luiz in stoppage time sparked a melee at the Etihad Stadium. (© Daily Telegraph, London)