Chelsea playmaker Oscar appears to be inching closer to a stunning move to China after the club reportedly accepted a £60m bid from Shanghai SIPG.
According to The Telegraph, Oscar has informed his Chelsea teammates that he intends to leave for China having fallen out of favour under manager Antonio Conte.
Shanghai SIPG, managed by former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas, made an irresistible bid of £60m, more than double the £25m Chelsea paid Internacional for the 25-year-old’s services in 2012. If the deal goes through, it would the most expensive sale Chelsea have ever sanctioned, comfortably eclipsing the £50m they received when David Luiz left the club for Paris Saint-Germain in 2014.
Villas-Boas has been an admirer of Oscar for a long time, having tried to sign the Brazilian when he was in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, only to be pipped by his former employers. Oscar will follow in the footsteps of former Chelsea midfielder Ramires, who now earns nearly £10m-a-year playing for Jiangsu Suning.
Oscar is expected to become one of the highest-paid footballers on the planet when the deal goes through, with his salary reported to be £350,000-a-week. Oscar fell down the pecking order under Conte after Chelsea’ dismal home defeat to Liverpool in September and has not featured during his side’s impressive nine-game winning sequence.
Oscar’s imminent departure to China means that Cesc Fabregas is likely to stay at Stamford Bridge, at least until the end of the season, with the club unlikely to sanction the exits of two attacking midfielders.
When asked about the Spaniard’s future on Tuesday, Conte said: “Cesc is an important player for us.
“He played a key match against Manchester City and played very well. In the last match, he came on very well during the game. I have still to decide the starting XI, but Cesc is always a good choice, for me. He is an important player and in the squad of Chelsea. Now this is the reality.”