The Chinese Super League has spent some eye-popping sums to attract players from European clubs. Former Liverpool target Alex Teixeira signed for Chinese club Jiangsu Suning in February for £38 million, a sum that Liverpool weren't prepared to pay for the Brazilian. Hulk moved from Zenit Saint Petersburg to Shanghai SIPG for £45.7 in June—a record transfer signing for China.
Amazingly, a similar offer was made for Christian Benteke earlier in the year. This isn't the first time that reports of a bid from China have emerged, but now there can be little doubt that a serious bid was made. Tony Barrett, in his new column for JOE on Liverpool's transfer strategy, confirmed that a massive bid had been made for Benteke.
Christian Benteke didn't fit in with any of his manager's ideas and so was sold with Liverpool achieving their £30 million valuation of the forward who had rejected the opportunity to move to China six months earlier when a Super League club had offered £45 million for his services.
He's now a Crystal Palace player after Liverpool impressively secured a deal that would virtually recoup the £32.5 million invested in the former Aston Villa striker, but a £45 million offer would have provided a healthy profit. That Benteke rejected the move to continue playing at a high level in one of Europe’s big leagues is credit to him, but this could have been Liverpool's biggest surprise transfer in many years.