Roy Hodgson wanted in China despite England meltdown

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When Roy Hodgson woke up on Monday, he knew it could be his last day in charge of the England national team. He prepared his statement of resignation and kept it close to his chest as the Three Lions tried to win their first knockout game since 2006.

Although Hodgson was seemingly prepared for every eventuality even he must have been surprised by the way Iceland, the lowest ranked team left in the European Championships, completely controlled the game against England, the only team to qualify with a 100% record.

No one was surprised by Hodgson's resignation, which leaves him in football's wilderness also occupied by Glenn Hoddle and Steve McClaren, or so we thought.


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According to the Daily Mail, the sound of Hodgson resigning from his position as England manager set alarm bells ringing in the Far East where a number of mega-rich Chinese football clubs are very much in the market for maligned managers.

Surprisingly, the 68-year-old will probably find himself with a bunch of offers that far exceed the £3.5m-a-year he earned from the Football Association. We are not ones to question the judgement of the Chinese Super League chiefs but one of them did just pay around £45.7m to sign Hulk from Zenit St Petersburg. Just saying.

Widespread interest

Eric Gao, chief executive of Chinese sports agency iRENA who have contracts with several of CSL's top clubs, confirmed interest in Hodgson is widespread.

"Lots of club want a world class football manager. I heard a lot are not for sale here right now. But there are many chances (for Hodgson), they would love to sign him," Gao said.

"Hodgson has the kind of profile that will fit a Chinese Super League club.

"I know a number of clubs who are wanting international investors to be their shareholders as well, something will happen very soon.

"They want to change the DNA of football, they want to get worldwide investment, bring the brand, the coach, the football manager and players systematically, not one by one but group by group."

Chinese ambition

China's state-backed rise to prominence in the world of football has seen a number of established stars make the move to their national league with Hulk being the latest – and the most expensive – thus far. He will join Sven Goran Eriksson's side Shanghai SIPG, who also boast Asamoah Gyan in their ranks. They also have former Leicester goalkeeper Ian Walker as a goalkeeping coach.

Their aim is to make sure they are a footballing superpower by 2050 on both the domestic and international arms of the game. Currently, their national team is 81st in the FIFA world rankings and have only qualified for the World Cup once, in 2002.

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