It’s February, and the winter transfer window has closed. At least for Europe’s biggest leagues. For Liverpool, it was an exceptionally quiet month: Steven Caulker arrived on loan, Marko Grujic was bought but loaned straight back to Red Star Belgrade, and a couple of loanees were recalled.
There was also the Alex Teixeira transfer saga, but that ended in disappointment when Shakhtar Donetsk stuck to their €50M valuation for the 26-year-old Brazilian attacker coming off six world class months and who has yet to earn a single cap for his country. Everyone, though, seemed to agree they’d go back for him this summer.
They may not get that chance, as dubious whispers last week that an unnamed Chinese Super League suddenly look a whole lot less dubious following the £32M move of Atletico Madrid’s high profile Jackson Martinez to Guangzhou Evergrande. This following the £25M signing of Ramires by Jiangsu Suning last week.
It is now being reported that Jiangsu Suning are the club seeking Teixeira, and that they are willing to meet Shakhtar’s €50M (£38M) valuation of the player. With the Chinese league’s transfer window open until the 26th of February, they would have plenty of time to sign and register the highly valued attacker.
In a league made up mostly of recently formed clubs, the Nanjing-based side are an outlier. Founded as a semi-professional club in 1958, they became professional in 1994 when they helped found the league. That didn’t help them on the pitch, as they were relegated that first season and only returned to the top flight in 2009.
In 2015, they were bought by Suning Commerce Group and renamed from Jiangsu Sainty. Along with the name change has come an influx of cash and some success on the pitch in the form of a Chinese FA Cup. And now they want a few big name players, with Teixeira meant to become their centrepiece signing.
On the back of recent deals to bring pricy talent to China—and on the back of an eight billion yuan (£840M) domestic television rights deal—this seems far more plausible today than it did even a week ago. The only real question now is whether Teixeira, who wants to play for Brazil, is willing to accept a move to China.