John Terry could become the first Englishman to play in the Chinese Super League should he accept a lucrative offer to join Carlos Tevez at Shanghai Shenhua.
The 36-year-old former England defender will not be offered a new contract by Chelsea and Shenhua are under pressure from the Shanghai government to make major signings to promote the city.
Terry’s salary after tax could be anything between £8-12m for a season that runs from February to November. Terry would be expected to travel to China in time to prepare for Shenhua’s Champions League qualifier on February 8.
Shenhua’s new manager, Gus Poyet, played with Terry at Chelsea during the early years of his career at Stamford Bridge and is believed to be keen to bring the defender to China. A deal for Tevez is close to completion.
There are strong links between Chelsea and Shenhua, who have signed Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Demba Ba. Last year Terry was courted by the Super League champions, Guangzhou Evergrande, managed by Luiz Filipe Scolari, who briefly managed him at Chelsea. Terry, however, decided to remain at Stamford Bridge for one more season.
There are, however, problems with the move. Although the Shanghai government is putting pressure on both their teams – SIPG, who are in the final stages of negotiating Oscar’s £52m transfer, and Shenhua - to make marquee signings to improve the city’s profile, they are not directly funding any of the deals.
Terry’s salary would have to come from Shenhua, whose majority shareholders, Greenland – a property development company – have seen the value of their investments plummet.
The club will also have to evaluate just how good a marketing asset Terry would be. He is thought to be far less valuable than Oscar, who could expect £350,000-a-week at SIPG, and there has been a long-standing reluctance among leading Chinese club to make defenders their marquee foreign signings.
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