The Chinese Super League continues to make headlines in the UK press, with the tabloids particularly excited in the past week about news that Chelsea’s star striker might join a Chinese club.
The reports have rumoured that Diego Costa’s agent has been negotiating a deal with a Tianjin team that could earn him £30 million a year in salary.
Chelsea have denied that a deal has been discussed – although earlier this month it sold Oscar to Shanghai SIPG for £60 million – and the London club’s angry manager dropped the Spanish international from the team last weekend. Some of the tabloids believe Costa will stay at Chelsea for the remainder of the season, but will then follow Carlos Tevez to China for a record transfer in the summer.
However, the Financial Times notes that China’s sports administration is trying to clamp down on the transfer spending, mandating that Super League clubs can only field three foreign players in games versus the previous limit of four. The rule change was made on Sunday. To foster more domestic talent a provision was also included that at least one Chinese player under 23 must be on the pitch throughout matches, in a move designed to “elevate the level of the national team”.
It’s an interesting plan and while WiC sees merit in the idea, we do sympathise: it could make substitutions more complex for coaches, and what would happen if all a team’s under 23 year-old players were injured?
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