Ezequiel Lavezzi has claimed he snubbed interest from Chelsea and Manchester United in favour of a move to China.
It was the end of a three-and-a-half-year spell with Paris Saint-Germain for the 30-year-old, who was described by Hebei on social media as “the next Maradona”.
Lavezzi, who has joined former Arsenal forward Gervinho and ex-Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta at the Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium, claims he was offered the chance to move to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge but opted instead for the “challenge” in the Far East.
“I could have signed for Inter, Chelsea or Manchester United,” Lavezzi told Canal+.
“But I made the decision to go to China. It’s an important choice for my career, I’m sure I’ll face many challenges here.
“I like the project to develop this club. It was that which convinced me to come to Hebei, as well as the financial aspect.
“I’m also fascinated by Chinese culture, so to come and play here is definitely an interesting challenge.”
Lavezzi, who signed for PSG for £23million from Napoli in the summer of 2012, has been capped 48 times by Argentina.