Ezequiel Lavezzi became the fifth highest paid player in the world when he joined Hebei China Fortune in February.
The Argentine left Paris Saint-Germain and will pick up a ridiculous £23.5 million during his two-year deal in the Far East.
Lavezzi only had a few months left on his contract at the French champions so, as expected, there was plenty of interest in the striker during the winter transfer window.
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In fact, the former Napoli man admitted that he snubbed offers from two Premier League clubs, as well as Inter Milan.
“I could have signed for Inter, Chelsea or Manchester United,” he told Canal+, via Goal.com.
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Surely when given the opportunity, a player of Lavezzi’s ability would rather play in England than China but the 30-year-old defended his actions, insisting that he’s made the right choice.
“I made the decision to go to China. It’s an important choice for my career, I’m sure I’ll face many challenges here," he said.
“I like the project to develop this club. It was that which convinced me to come to Hebei, as well as the financial aspect.
“I’m also fascinated by Chinese culture, so to come and play here is definitely an interesting challenge,” he added.
It’s no wonder Lavezzi was convinced by the “financial aspect” with him picking up a hefty £288,000-a-week in wages - only Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo now earn more that him.
But instead of lining up alongside Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Bastian Schweinsteiger at Old Trafford, or Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge, Lavezzi will be playing with former Arsenal man Gervinho, Chelsea reject Gael Kakuta and QPR flop Stephane Mbia at the aptly named, Hebei China Fortune.
Of course, Lavezzi isn’t the only player that has been swayed by the ‘culture’ of the mega-rich league.
Liverpool target Alex Teixeira has put his Premier League dream on hold by leaving Shakhtar Donetsk to join Jiangsu Suning.
One of Teixeira’s teammates will be former Chelsea midfielder Ramires, who left the English champions in a £25 million deal.
But the highest profile, and most expensive, transfer to the Far East came when Jackson Martinez joined Guangzhou Evergrande from Atletico Madrid for a fee of around £38 million.
Despite playing 48 times for his country, including earning 11 caps during 2015, Lavezzi believes his move to China means an end to his international career.
"Yes, it’s likely that experience is over," he said. "But I’ve already made the decision to come here and I want to do my best for my new club.”
Do you think Ezequiel Lavezzi should have moved to the Premier League instead of the Chinese Super League? Let us know in the comments box below!
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