Europe should feel threatened by growth and wealth of Chinese football

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West Ham's Dimitri Payet became the latest on a list of high-profile stars to be linked with a move to the Chinese Super League earlier this week.

According to Sky Sports, an unnamed Chinese club are prepared to pay £38 million for the midfielder, who will be offered wages of some £7 million-per-year.

There seems to be growing demand for football in China, suggesting why so many European names are emerging as targets of their top-flight.


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Coinciding with this is the huge financial backing from large corporations buying into Chinese football, raising the question: does it pose a threat to Europe's top leagues?

The answer, simply, is yes. With each transfer window, more and more big names are flocking to the riches of China, with Chelsea's Ramires, Gervinho, Paulinho, Freddy Guarin, Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira all now plying their trade in the east.

Such financial incentive is something Europe's elite sides are struggling to contend with - no one could have predicted Ramires would attract a bid anywhere near the region of £25 million, yet money proved decisive and the Brazilian swapped the Premier League champions for a considerably worse standard of football.

If the current trend continues - which it will - Europe's finest will continue flocking to the east in search of huge yearly salaries, which is a sad reality.

In an ideal world, professional footballers would recognise the lesser standard China has to offer and reject their big-money advances, but in a world where money rules, this won't be the case. European football has every reason to be worried.

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