Given the finances involved it appears a player exodus to the Chinese Super League from some of Europe’s top divisions is bordering on inevitable, with some established Premier League stars rumoured to be targets this summer.
According to the Sun newspaper, one of those attracting firm interest is Everton skipper Phil Jagielka, joining an apparent hitlist featuring Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Brazilian midfielder Oscar to name a few.
The same media outlet claim that Jagielka’s status as a regular England international can help create the sort of kudos the Chinese league desires.
Although the 33-year-old Toffees defender is still a valued member of Roberto Martinez’s squad at Goodison Park, the emergence of young centre-halves John Stones and Ramiro Funes Mori this term, mean the veteran is no longer guaranteed a spot if both are fit.
At this stage there’s no suggestion the former Sheffield United player would jeopardise his potential place at the forthcoming Euro Championships by jumping ship this month before the Chinese transfer window closes.
However, with two years left on his contract, the situation may seem different for Jagielka, once the Euros are behind him.
With high-profile players such as Chelsea’s Ramires and Atletico Madrid’s Jackson Martinez already heading to the Far East, there is genuine scope for an influx in the coming years.
A huge TV deal has flooded the Chinese Super League with dosh that clubs are now willing to throw at audacious transfer bids.
Indeed, Ladbrokes make it odds-on at 1/2 that at least five Premier League players make moves to China for the start of next season.
Whether or not Jagielka increases the chances of that wager paying off remain to be seen.