Transfer Rumour: Oscar set for £60m switch to Shanghai SIPG
Chelsea attacking midfielder, Oscar, is on the verge of joining Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG for an astonishing £60million. According to The Telegraph, the London giants have sanctioned the sale of the Brazilian for the staggering amount.
If Chelsea do indeed accept the bid, it will set a transfer record for the Chinese League and pave the way for Oscar's reunion with his former manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The former Chelsea boss has reportedly been keen on signing Oscar for a long time, with the player also having told his current team-mates that he is keen on a move abroad. The 25-year-old midfielder has fallen out of favour of current gaffer Antonio Conte, but Villas-Boas still rates him highly.
Buoyed by huge funds, the Chinese League is on the brink of a revolution. Former Southampton star Pelle is receiving £260,000-a-week according to The Independent, so money seems to be in abundance in the East.
The Blues decided to retain Oscar last summer despite interest from other Chinese clubs like Jiangsu Suning and Guangzhou Evergrande. But now, Shanghai are on the verge of completing the formalities for the Brazilian star.
Oscar will warrant approximately £350,000-a-week wages in China.
Chelsea signed the 25-year-old from Brazilian club Internacional for £25million four years ago. He is now set to become the most expensive departure from the club, surpassing the £50million the North London outfit received for defender David Luiz from PSG in 2014.
Portuguese manager Villas-Boas has been a long-time admirer of the attacking midfielder; he had tried to secure his services for Tottenham Hotspur before he joined Stamford Bridge. The Shanghai SIPG boss has two Brazilians in Hulk and Elkeson in his ranks, and he seems intent on building a club with a solid Brazilian core.
Lack of playing time
Although the attacking midfielder featured in the first five Premier League games under Conte, he has found himself on the bench following his below-par display against Liverpool and a formation switch. Since then, the midfield maestro has only appeared in Chelsea’s EFL Cup clash against West Ham, where the Hammers got the better of the Blues.
The sale of the Brazilian has probably also been triggered by the ominous form of midfielder Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard has played an influential role in the middle of the park, churning out assists seemingly at will in the past few games.
Moreover, midfielders Giacomo Bonaventura, Marcelo Brozovic and Nainggolan have all been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. Signing any one of the aforementioned players would limit Oscar’s game time even further.
Oscar has won the Barclays Premier League, the UEFA Europa League and the League Cup with Chelsea. While Conte denied any possibility of the player's departure in November, the tide seems to have turned now.
The departure of the 25-year-old, who has made over 150 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, is bound to evoke mixed reactions from the fans.