CHELSEA duo Diego Costa and John Terry have been linked with moves to the Chinese Super League, but a recent rule change could derail potential transfers.
Shanghai Shenhua manager and former Blues and Spurs player Gus Poyet said he would “love” to sign Costa, who was linked with a world record move, but that would be difficult as no team can field more than three non-Chinese players at one time.
The manager told Talksport: “I would love to but it will be very difficult for us because of the quantity [of non-Chinese players] we have got. There are three who are playing.”
“There would have to be a massive change to the structure of the club to be able to bring Diego here.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen, I would never say ‘no, never’, but I would say it would be very difficult for him to come here.”
Poyet also believes 36-year-old Terry would definitely be coming to China if not for the rule change.
He said: “If you asked me in December before they changed the rules, I would have said straight away he was coming [to China]. I was 100 per cent sure. No doubt.”
“But with the new system, it is special to buy a defender.
“The mentality has changed a lot because they [Chinese teams] are looking for players to make the difference up front – the ones that are going to bring people to the stadium.”
He said: “I still haven’t ruled out Sunday being my last game and retiring.”
“It depends if the right offer comes along I will sit down and consider it with my family — whether that’s here, abroad, or wherever that may be.
“Genuinely I haven’t made any decisions of yet and I’m evaluating all my options at the moment.”
INTER WANT POCH OR CONTE
Inter Milan want Mauricio Pochettino to become their new boss after the axing of Stefano Pioli, according to Sky Italia.
Representatives from the Italian club will reportedly travel to London to discuss a deal worth £8.5m per year for the Tottenham manager.
However, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is still Inter’s preferred choice, according to Gazetta dello Sport.
Other candidates reportedly include Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, Roma’s Luciano Spalletti and Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri.
CHELSEA WINGERS ON THE MOVE
Willian has committed his future to the Blues amid rumours he could leave for Manchester United to link up with Jose Mourinho.
He said: “My future is here with Chelsea, I have a contract until 2020 and I’m happy.”
Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle have activated a £6.2m option to buy the Blues 25-year-old winger Christan Atsu, after he spent the season on loan with the Magpies, according to The Sun.
Also, the Newcastle Chronicle reports that Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez could be on his way to the Championship winners with the Saints set to offer him to Benitez’s side.