Sam Allardyce has revealed that he turned down offers in China before becoming manager of Crystal Palace.
Chinese Super League clubs are throwing mind-boggling amounts of cash around in a bid to lure the world’s best players to the country.
Carlos Tevez is the latest high-profile star to make the move after joining Shanghai Shenhua, while Chelsea midfielder Oscar joined their local rivals Shanghai SIPG.
Meanwhile the agent of arguably the biggest name of them all, Cristiano Ronaldo, has claimed Real Madrid have been offered 300million euros for the Portugal superstar by a Chinese club.
Managers are also in demand and Allardyce has revealed he was offered the opportunity to head to Asia after his brief tenure as England manager came to an end.
“Did I have an offer? Yes. I didn’t go. I could have gone but I preferred to stay here,” he said.
“It’s difficult for a player or a club to turn that down, it’s just the way of the world and changing forces in the football world.
“China has decided it wants to be a force and has decided the way to do it is to buy the best players and pay over the odds. Time will tell if it’s the right thing to do.”
Many in the game have voiced fears that the Premier League will suffer if its top names are tempted to take the huge amounts of cash on offer.
Allardyce added: “Money talks. But if we lose the top, top players from the Premier League then absolutely (it will suffer).
“We didn’t want to lose Gareth Bale, or Ronaldo. But it’s a small world today in football terms and players will pick up their boots and travel.
“What we have to do is encourage the growth of our younger players and produce better talent.”
Not going anywhere
One player Allardyce will lose for up to six weeks is Wilfried Zaha, after the winger gave up waiting for an England call to play for the Ivory Coast at next month’s African Nations Cup.
But Allardyce has dismissed reports the 24-year-old winger, one of struggling Palace’s better performers this season, could be sold in January, with Tottenham linked to him.
“I knew before I got here that he was going (to the African Nations Cup) and good luck to him,” Allardyce said.
“It’s fantastic for him, but obviously a big loss for us. But there is no chance of losing him permanently, according to the chairman.”
Palace head to Arsenal on New Year’s Day with Allardyce weighing up a potential move for Gunners full-back Carl Jenkinson to bolster his defence.
“We’ve not really got enough numbers at the moment,” he said.
“Certainly the chairman would like to sign a couple if possible, but finding two is hard enough and with today’s inflated prices you have to be certain they will work for you and make the team better.
“We’ve got one loan left and we would look at what is available. I don’t know whether he (Jenkinson) is yet.”