Paris Saint-Germain attacker Ezequiel Lavezzi is said to prefer a move to China over Chelsea when his contract runs out at the end of the season, according to ESPN.
The Argentine is on the radar of numerous clubs across Europe who are reportedly interested in snapping him up on a free transfer during the summer.
Chelsea are understood to have held talks with Lavezzi’s representatives over a deal to bring the 30-year-old to Stamford Bridge, but the reigning Premier League champions will likely face stiff competition to secure his services.
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Reports indicate Serie A giants Inter Milan are keeping tabs on the PSG ace, while Chinese Super League outfit Guoan Beijing have also entered the race for his signature.
Rather than waiting for his current deal to expire, the latter is hopeful of enticing Lavezzi to leave France before the transfer window for Chinese clubs shuts on February 26.
The Argentina international would become the fifth high-profile arrival in the Chinese Super League this winter with a host of big names shunning European football to capitalise on the financial opportunities in China.
The cashed-up competition has caused a splash in recent weeks with Jiangsu Suning swooping for Shakhtar star Alex Teixeira and Chelsea midfielder Ramires, Guangzhou Evergrande landing Jackson Martinez from Atletico Madrid, and Shanghai Shenhua picking up former Inter Milan star Fredy Guarin.
While the £38.4 million Teixeira deal which saw the Chinese transfer record broken for the third time in ten days is unlikely to be topped this winter, Guoan Beijing will be eager to tie down a superstar of their own in order to remain competitive with domestic rivals.
Lavezzi could reportedly complete his move to the nation’s capital for as little as €6 million (£4.6 million) considering his PSG contract has only five months left to run.