Some Familiar Faces Affected by New Chinese Salary Cap

The Chinese League has lured away several players with lofty wages over the last few years, but that is about to change, which could cause an exodus in the opposite direction. As reported by Sky Sport, the Federation has set the maximum salary for footballers at €3M gross, about €1.75M net, in order to make up for the losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cap is inevitably going to impact a slew of well-known players, including former Serie A ones, that have been earning in China way more than they would have in the Old Continent. Graziano Pellè has been making €15M per year at Shandong Luneng, ex-Inter attacker Eder €10M at Jiangsu Suning, and both their contracts will expire at the end of 2020. Stephan El Shaarawy and Marek Hamsik have longer deals, but they too could opt to leave after the restriction, like Oscar and Paulinho. No limitation instead for the coaches, so Fabio Cannavaro and Rafa Benitez are unaffected.

El Shaarawy has been recently linked to Inter and Roma, even though the move was considered unlikely, while La Nazione reported today that Fiorentina are also keen on the former Giallorosso.

Our view

It is an interesting development that will likely stop the stream of footballers moving to China and that could have a ripple effect as soon as January. There are few players that could help Serie A teams, especially if available on free trasfers, however it is possible the change of policy will simply end up fueling other foreign leagues, like the Middle Eastern ones or MLS.