Sunday 22

Chinese Super League

Could John Terry kick-start an exodus of English players to China?

20th April 2017, 11:25 by Peter Hampshire

Chinese clubs are reportedly circling around Terry to bolster their defences, with the Chelsea legend having connections in the CSL.

In the statement upon Terry's announcement that he will leave Chelsea, the 78 times England-capped defender said: "I'm eager to carry on playing and so will be looking to continue with a new challenge." However, China face stern competition for his signature, notably from Bournemouth, West Brom and the MLS.

Shanghai SIPG forced the Premier League to take notice when ex-Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas splurged over £50m on creative midfielder Oscar in January. Now Chelsea's prodigal leader could be following the Brazilian to the Chinese Super League.

A friend of Terry and former Chelsea assistant, Ray Wilkins told TalkSport radio: "I certainly would say that China is out as John is a big family man. The United States might be an option."

Some may be surprised by the opinion that a destination such as Shanghai would not be a family-friendly city, but a cultural change and language barriers would be a shock for the 36-year-old defender.

One thing that could sweeten a proposed deal, as the Telegraph reported, is a potential £20m salary for a one-season contract, something which Terry has opted for in recent years.

Talking of where Chinese clubs' focus lies in terms of transfer policy, Wild East Football's Cameron Wilson said: "Not enough emphasis on defensive talent. Look at Li Xiaoming - CSL young player of the year loaned out again in 2017."

While managers such as Terry's former team-mate, Gus Poyet, at Shanghai Shenhua may prefer to use their foreign player quotas on lavish attacking talent, the signing of Terry would represent a high-profile watershed signing for the CSL, perhaps encouraging viewership of the league with a more open mind.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Peter Hampshire

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