Manchester United transfer news: Ezequiel Lavezzi snubbed United switch in favour of moving to China

Lavezzi has revealed that he could have joined United, Chelsea or Inter Milan but chose to join Hebei China Fortune instead

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The Independent Football

Manchester United missed out on signing former Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi after he decided to join for Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune in a deal worth a reported £400,000-a-week, the player has revealed.

Lavezzi left the French league leaders last month after signing a two-year-deal with the Chinese side despite being linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including United. But United failed to secure a move for the Argentina international before the 1 February transfer deadline, and Hebei capitalised by luring him to China in the additional month that their transfer window had to run.

PSG were willing to let Lavezzi leave in the January transfer window after he fell out of favour under head coach Laurent Blanc, but a Premier League move failed to materialise and the 30-year-old secured a lucrative move to the Far East.

Speaking after the deal was completed, Lavezzi defended his decision to move to China and claimed that it was due to the development of the club as well as the wage hike that persuaded him to sign, but he also admitted that interest elsewhere – including from United – had failed to reach a conclusion.

"The plan for development of this club interests me,” said Lavezzi. “It is one of the reasons that pushed me to join the club, alongside the finances.

"That is why I came here. I could have signed for Inter, Chelsea or Manchester United. But I took a decision to leave for China.

"It is an important decision in my career. But I have already taken the decision to play here. So now I will give everything for my club."

Despite landing the bumper deal, Lavezzi is some way from being the highest paid player in the world after tax is deducted, with his wages equating to a take-home fee of £222,000-a-week – not even enough for him to match Wayne Rooney’s £250,000 weekly wage.