Words by: Manuel Veith
CSKA Moscow target, and former Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano appears to be headed to China. Several Italian sources have reported on Twitter that a Chinese consortium have approached AC Milan with an offer in the region of €15 million.
Calciomercato, meanwhile, quoted Adriano’s agent Gilmar Veloz as saying, “Will Luiz Adriano go to China? He just might.” Calciomercato further reported that Luiz Adriano is not included in tomorrow’s squad that faces Carpi FC.
Meanwhile, the well-informed AC Milan Twitter account @TheMilanBible reported on January 12 that Luiz Adriano has already emptied his locker and has said goodbye to his teammates at Milan. In addition, they disclosed that he is expected to earn €8 million in China.
The question is, which Chinese Super League team will Luiz Adriano join? Football Italia has speculated that the Chinese consortium represents Jiangsu Suning FC, as they had a €10 million bid for Sampdoria forward Eder rejected a few days ago. Gianluca Di Marzio, meanwhile, reported that the club could be Hebei Fortune FC.
While Luiz Adriano’s ultimate destination in China remains a mystery, his transfer to the Chinese Super League follows a trend of Chinese investment that has seen several Brazilian players move to China in recent months. Brazil’s champion club Corinthians, for example, have lost several players to China, and have even termed the bleeding of their championship squad, the #Desmanchelândia ( dismantling).
Chinese clubs have, so far, spent €42 million on new players in the winter transfer market with by far the most money invested in Brazilian players. This sum does not yet include Luiz Adriano’s move, and it is expected that China will continue in its aggressive pursuit of Brazilian talent.
The emergence of China as the new prime destination for Brazilians has affected the transfer market in the post-Soviet space as well., For years, clubs like CSKA Moscow and Shakhtar Donetsk were the place to go for Brazilians who wanted to break into the European football market.
This means that clubs in the post-Soviet space are likely to look elsewhere during the winter transfer window. The big Russian clubs have looked much more at their internal market, which means that the transfer value of Russian players will rise even higher, and will also make it unlikely that Russians will move abroad. In Ukraine, Shakhtar will also be looking close to home as they have made major adjustments in the last few seasons and have focused primarily on developing their own youth players.
The Luiz Adriano transfer to a Chinese club is therefore a sign of changing market dynamics in post-Soviet football: The clubs in the region are now taking a step back from the Brazilian market.