Back

Who are the top names in the Chinese Super League?

Frank Monkhouse | 29 June 2017

We check how the big boys are getting on

As the summer transfer window opens, the Premier League’s major sides are searching Europe for the latest must-have signings. But, while looking for players to boost their ranks, managers also have the threat of losing their stars to the Chinese Super League.

Just what’s going on in China? Well, with an injection of cash into football there, in order to bring it up to speed with the rest of the world, major players are having their heads turned by the wages on offer. Top names from Wayne Rooney to Diego Costa, and everyone in between, are attracting interest from the Chinese Super League, and those who do decide to move there will be in good company. Let’s look at some of the faces currently plying their trade in the CSL.

Oscar has wasted no time making friends

25-year-old Brazilian Oscar is now on the books at Shanghai SIPG, having jumped ship in December for a staggering £60m, and he has wasted no time in winning friends at his new home. The attacking midfielder made headlines for his part in a mass brawl earlier this month. Despite the numbers involved, only one player was sent off from each side and Oscar, accused of starting the riot, was hit with an eight-match ban and a 40,000 Yuan fine. That works out at just over £4,500. He won’t starve, considering he’s on £350k-a-week.

Tevez highest paid player in the world

Former Man Utd, Man City and West Ham striker Carlos Tevez calls Shanghai Shenhua home these days. The 33-year-old forward joined just after Christmas from Boca Juniors. A perfect example of just how much money is being thrown around, Tevez is thought to rake in £615,000-a-week, making him the highest paid player in the world. Newspaper reports suggest he is finding it difficult to adjust to life in China, although not as difficult as he’s finding it to score goals, it seems.

Mikel settling in well

John Obi Mikel ended his time at Chelsea with a move to Tianjin TEDA earlier this year, but what’s unique about the 30-year-old’s case is that he went on a free transfer. No millions here, but what the club saved in transfer fees, they more than made up for in wages. The Nigerian midfielder has settled in better than most, but suffered a stint on the sidelines, missing 10 games for the Tigers with a strain. Mikel captains his new employers, and will be eager to get back into the mix for both club and country.

Pato over his teething problems

You’ll now find former Milan forward Pato wearing the famous colours of Tianjin Quanjian. The talented Brazilian, who also turned out for the likes of Chelsea and Villarreal, joined the CSL revolution in January for £15m. The 27-year-old is another who has struggled to put the ball in the net, and missed a number of real sitters on his debut. He seems to have settled into the groove now though, and fans will hope he begins to pull his weight. Scored six goals in his first dozen league games this term.

Nothing for Hulk to be angry about

Brazilian Hulk has been a success story in the Chinese top-flight, running riot and living up to his lofty price tag. The hard-working forward joined Shanghai SIPG for almost 60 million euros last summer from Zenit St Petersburg, and sees his bank balance boosted by 384k every week. He hit the ground running, scoring minutes into his debut, and hasn’t looked back since. Could hold his own at any level of football, but few teams would meet his wage demands these days.

Get more on the beautiful game here