05 Feb Wenger: China is a threat to the Premier League
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes China flexing its financial muscle is a threat to the Premier League.
Wenger pointed to the vast amounts of money now being spent on players in China as evidence that the Premier League could fall behind if it does not continue to bring in new talent.
Ramires last month joined Jiangsu Suning for a reported fee of around £25million, with Liverpool target Alex Teixeira following suit for a fee believed to be in the region of £38million soon after Colombia striker Jackson Martinez had signed for Guangzhou Evergrande in a £31.7million transfer as the league spent almost £200million. China’s transfer window remains open until February 26.
Chelsea midfielder Oscar was another reported target for Jiangsu, supposedly attracting a huge bid, and Wenger admits the new trend of spending in the Far East could be a concern and drive up the cost of players across the globe.
Asked if the amount Chinese clubs are able to spend on transfers is a worry to the Premier League, the Frenchman replied: “Yes, of course, because China looks to have the financial power to move a whole league of Europe to China.
“We are long enough in this job to know that it’s just a consequence of economic power, and they have that.
“Will they sustain their desire to do it? Let’s remember, a few years ago, Japan started to do it and slowed down after. I don’t know how deep the desire in China is, but if there’s a very strong political desire, we should worry.
“I believe that anyway the inflation is on our doors with the next TV deal in the summer – it will move up again the transfer prices. I am sure that soon the £100million (transfer fee) will be easy to reach.”