Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was given a front row seat to the sudden spending power of the Chinese Super League. China has always been able to bring in stars with big-money offers, but nothing like this.
After Shanghai SIPG agreed to send Chelsea somewhere in the $65 million range, then made Oscar the third highest paid player in the world, consider many eyes opened, including Conte’s.
“The Chinese market is a danger for all teams in the world,” Conte said emphatically. “Not only for Chelsea but all teams in the world.”
Oscar has seen less and less playing time with the Blues over the past year, and the move makes total sense from a player perspective. He started the first five Premier League games of the season, but has not seen the starting lineup since, making just four appearances off the bench.
Obviously, from the Chinese standpoint, they are hoping that overpaying for stars will give the league legitimacy, but clearly there is pushback.
The 25-year-old has made just three appearances for the Brazilian national team since March of 2015. It will be interesting to see if the move to China affects his national team status. Players moving to fringe leagues on big-money deals have often been outcasted by national team managers, but clearly his status at Chelsea wasn’t doing him any favors in Brazil either. Oscar will join up with fellow Brazilian Hulk at Shanghai, who also has seen his national team status dwindle. Hulk hasn’t started for Brazil since October of 2015 and has not registered a national team goal since September of last year.