Wayne Rooney was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League throughout January but he wasn’t the only Manchester United player being targeted it seems.
According to the Daily Mirror, Michael Carrick was targeted by the mega-rich league as they attempted to lure him from Old Trafford to the Far East.
The 34-year-old is out of contract at United this summer and is yet to discuss a new deal with the club.
Chinese clubs seemingly have unlimited funds but saw the opportunity to sign the high-profile star on the cheap.
However, Carrick is understood to want to remain in England for the final part of his career and ultimately rejected the lucrative offers.
Premier League comforts
The former Spurs and West Ham man was also heavily linked with Premier League rivals Arsenal in January with Wenger looking for central midfield cover after injuries to Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta.
But Carrick’s number one desire is to remain at Old Trafford where he is now in his tenth season.
Few fans would have begrudged Carrick if he had decided to have one last, very large, pay day in China. He has struggled for injuries this campaign, making just 16 Premier League appearances.
Of course, Carrick wouldn’t have been the only high-profile footballer playing in China if he had accepted the offer.
The league is now bursting with world-class talent with the likes of former Chelsea midfielder Ramires, Liverpool target Alex Teixeira and former Arsenal forward Gervinho all now plying their trade there.
Meanwhile, Guangzhou Evergrande splashed over £30 million on ex-Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez and the aptly-named Hebei China Fortune made Ezequiel Lavezzi the fifth highest paid player in world football with an incredible salary of £20 million-per-year.
Carrick began him career at West Ham where he graduated from the famous academy. He was loaned out to Swindon Town and Birmingham City in the - what was then named - First Division.
He impressed upon his return to Upton Park and played consistently for three seasons in the Premier League before their relegation.
He played one season back in the First Division but the Hammers failed to get promoted at the first time of asking.
This led to interest for their key man and London rivals Spurs won the race to secure his signature at the start of the 2004/05 campaign.
Two impressive seasons at White Hart Lane saw United come calling where Carrick has gone onto make 400 appearances, winning five league titles and a Champions League.
Manchester United fans: How good has been Michael Carrick been during his ten seasons at Old Trafford? Let us know in the comments box below!
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