Ezequiel Lavezzi has said he had the opportunity to join Manchester United, Chelsea or Inter Milan but instead decided to move to China.
The ex-Paris St. Germain striker transferred to Hebei China Fortune F.C in January to become the latest European based footballer to join a Chinese based club, much to the surprise of many.
In an interview with Canal Plus, Lavezzi insisted he made the decision himself and rejected moves to big European clubs including Man United.
“I could have signed for Inter, Chelsea or Manchester United,” Lavezzi said.
“But I made the decision to go to China. It’s an important choice for my career, I’m sure I’ll face many challenges here.
“I like the project to develop this club. It was that which convinced me to come to Hebei, as well as the financial aspect.
“I’m also fascinated by Chinese culture, so to come and play here is definitely an interesting challenge.”
Lavezzi might be fascinated by Chinese culture but I’d hazard an educated guess that he’s more fascinated by the bumper pay packet he would have received by choosing to go to China.
At 30, I wouldn’t have wanted Lavezzi to join anyway. There would have been plenty of big clubs who’d have wanted to sign him but he chose money over stature and that’s the sort of attitude which can pollute a football club.
As for Chinese football, it’s starting to change the landscape and if the creation of the Premier League and influx of foreign owners was considered responsible for a hike in wages and player transfers, China is going to take that up to a whole new level.