When China comes calling, it’s pretty difficult to say no.
Graziano Pelle, Ramires, Demba Ba and Ezequiel Lavezzi have all swapped Europe for China’s riches, as the Asian country attempts to turn its national team into a superpower.
More and more players will head east in the future. Bastian Schweinsteiger perhaps, and maybe even Wayne Rooney.
One Chinese club even attempted to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic to sign, but the Swede turned them down.
“Ibrahimovic is the best,” the Manchester United striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, said. “He turned down €100 million net from the Chinese.
“He doesn’t want more money, he wants to win.”
Ibrahimovic was also swayed by the opportunity to work with Jose Mourinho again.
But the overriding factor? Manchester United’s prestige, of course.
In an interview on his Zlatan Unplugged app, the 34-year-old admitted his decision to join United was an easy one.
The question of the failed move to China was put to Ibrahimovic: “The last few days, there’s been talk about how you turned down enormous amounts of money from Chinese clubs just to go to Manchester United. Are the rumours correct – and why choose Manchester United in particular?”
United supporters will love his answer.
“Easy. Who wouldn’t choose Manchester United when they knock on the door?”
And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you become a club legend.