Football

Record-signing Oscar arrives in Shanghai

Brazilian midfielder Oscar yesterday landed in Shanghai, where the 25-year-old was set to smash the Asian transfer record with a reported 60-million- euros (S$91 million) deal with Shanghai SIPG.

Dozens of supporters chanting club songs swarmed the former Chelsea player at the city's Pudong airport.

Oscar's arrival in the Chinese Super League comes just before that of Argentina's former Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez, who signed for Shanghai Shenhua in another big-money deal last week.

Tevez's transfer fee was 
10.5m euros, according to the transfermarkt.com, which tracks dealings in the sport, although the reported two-year contract of 38 million euros per season makes him the world's highest-salaried footballer.

SIPG's general manager dismissed concerns raised by state media of a market bubble in the super-rich Chinese league, arguing prices have to be higher to attract players from big European leagues.

"The league is developing so of course it will go through many different stages," Sui Guoyang told AFP, after escorting Oscar through a media scrum.

"I believe that from now on, the Chinese Super League will become healthier and more normal."

MONEY RULES

Some fans put it more bluntly. "In the end, if you don't pay the money, then nobody would be willing to come over here," said SIPG supporter Zou Jiahuo.

Oscar will join fellow Brazilian player Hulk, who joined SIPG for a reported 55m euros last July. The pair will be coached by former Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas. - AFP

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