Transfer rumour: Manchester United's Ashley Young offered mega deal by Chinese club
What's the story?
Rumours are gathering pace that out of favour Ashley Young has been offered a deal by Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng with a pay of £16m on offer over three years. Having featured in a total of 10 games this season – of which only 5 have been starts – and often in his converted full-back position, Young is said to be considering the move as a preferred option to interest from other Premier League clubs.
Manchester United are said to expect £10m for the Englishman they signed from Aston Villa for £17m back in 2011.
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Shandong Luneng already have a couple of former Premier League stars among their ranks in the form of ex-Southampton striker Graziano Pelle and formerly Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse. While they only paid Southampton £13m for the Italian’s signature last July, he is reported to earn a staggering £265,000 a week.
The lure of money has also drawn the likes of Oscar and Carlos Tevez to the Chinese league this transfer window, with the latter arriving in the country just yesterday to become the highest paid player in the world at £615,000 per week.
Such signings are expected to reduce after the Chinese association introduced new rules limiting the number of foreign players that are allowed to be a part of the playing eleven.
The heart of the matter
With the wealth of options available to Jose Mourinho to play on the wing, and full-backs ahead of him in the pecking order, Ashley Young probably doesn’t expect to get too much playing time at the club. While he has played just over 150 games for the club, he has never quite cemented a spot for himself and United could consider freeing up his wage budget of £120,00 a week in anticipation of a summer of further strengthening the squad.
With Valencia cementing the right-back position and Darmian competing with Luke Shaw on the other flank, United can afford to let go of Young who will likely be eyeing that handsome paycheck as well.
The Chinese transfer window closes on February 26th, ahead of their new season opening on March 4th. There’s plenty of time for them to consider the situation in light of the new rules before making a decision, but there’s no doubt Shandong will be looking to bring in someone of Young’s quality to provide service to their other star signings mentioned earlier.
Having finished 14th in a 16 member league last season, they might just call on the Manchester United man to be the difference maker.
At 31 years of age, it is unlikely that Ashley Young will get improved chances at United or a better contract offer from another club in England (or Europe for that matter). While the Chinese clubs’ reckless spending is something we would like to see less of in the world of football, this particular deal represents a win-win for all parties involved.
Whether or not it works out as well as they hope, we would like a chance to see if Young still has those stellar skills that brought him to United in the first place.