Arsene Wenger spoke about the phenomenon of Chinese football in Friday's pre-match press conference and is "worried" about the consequences of their free-spending habits.
This past week has seen Chinese Super League clubs pay upwards of £90million on some of Europe's leading stars. Chelsea's Ramires was followed by Atletico Madrid's Jackson Martinez and Shakhtar Donetsk's Alex Teixeira.
And this is only the start. The Chinese state seems intent on bringing some of the biggest names to the country and have incredible amounts of money to make it happen. Indeed, Wenger's quote that they could move "entire leagues from Europe to China" is not far from the truth.
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As a result, transfer fees are likely to rise even higher. Once the new TV deal kicks in for Premier League clubs, rumoured to be worth over £8bn over three years, Wenger says the first £100m player will be within "easy reach" of the world's biggest clubs.
The Arsenal manager said: “I believe the inflation is on our doors with the next TV deal in the summer, it will move up again the transfer prices. I am sure that soon the £100m target will be easy to reach."
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He is right. There have already been nine-figure sums offered for two of La Liga's leading players. Both of those, worth £100m and £140m, reportedly came from Manchester United and were obviously rejected.
Here we take a look at the three players most likely to break the record.
Gareth Bale | Valuation: £100m
Currently the most expensive footballer in history, Gareth Bale would almost certainly break the record for a second time if he agrees to join Manchester United next summer. The Red Devils have been interested and reportedly made two offers worth £100m last year. Real Madrid were not interested at the time and rejected the offer. However, things have changed at the Bernabeu. Zinedine Zidane is now in charge following the dismissal of Rafa Benitez and may not want Bale around. If that's the case, Ed Woodward has his chequebook ready.
Neymar | Valuation: £140m
Barcelona's Brazilian star finds himself in a strange place at the moment. He plays for the world's best football club alongside the world's best football player. He should be living the dream. But until the Nou Camp outfit increase his £140m release clause, the possibility of him leaving remains. Real Madrid and Manchester United are both interested and both have the money to meet the price – the latter have already offered the amount once before. Whether or not he will leave, of course, is another question.
Paul Pogba | Value: £80m
It has been insinuated that Paul Pogba could be allowed to leave Juventus for the comparatively reasonable price of £80m in the summer, but on current form, the price is going up by the day. Couple another good season with a successful Euro 2016 with France and the valuation will soon reach £100m. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City are all interested.
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