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16 January 2017

Diego Costa is the latest footballer who may reportedly be tempted away from the Premier league, arguably the best and most competitive league in the world, by the huge wages being offered for top players by the Chinese Super League. With a chance to double, triple or even quadruple an already huge monthly salary, a good few have already made the move. Players such as Ramires, Demba Ba, Oscar and Alex Teixeira to name but a few are now plying their trade in China. It seems suddenly the Premier league has a rival when it comes to being able to offer the kind of wages that attract the top players.

Diego Costa, who was until a few year ago on a meagre (yeah right) £50K a week wage whilst at Atlético Madrid is now reportedly on £150K a week with rumours that Chelsea are ready to increase that substantially if he puts pen to paper and signs a new contract, but Diego is stalling. After last week's bust up with one of the coaching staff and the offer from the Chinese, his agent was kicked into action and met with the club's president last week. He has allegedly been offered and eye watering £600K a week by Tianjin Quanjianin the Chinese Super League. That's a cool 30 million pounds a year before you look at any bonuses, marketing and sponsorship revenues.

Diego is contracted out to Chelsea until 2019, however, the speculation is now that a move will be inevitable, if not sooner than certainly by the summer. If that's to be believed, he would most likely be leaving a club on the cusp of winning the Premier league title if Chelsea carry on as they have been doing for the past few months. After a Champions league winners medal the Premier league winners medal is probably the highest accolade a player can attain at club level but the levels of pay on offer from the Chinese Super League could make even those who are on track for one to change track completely in return for further financial reward then that they are often already enjoying.

Of course, the days of club loyalty for players is long gone. With the huge influx of foreign players that was to be expected. You rarely ever see homegrown players staying loyal to the club of the city of their birth or their childhood favourites. As soon as a big club comes a looking for them these loyalties lose their meaning. We can't go back to how things used to be, I am not sure many of us really want to either. Football, and the business of football, is moving forward at a furious pace and though the game itself may look very similar to how it was all those years ago the world of the football player and those involved in the sport at a high level of management or ownership is completely different to even just a few decades ago. A sport which started off based around local rivalry and a passion for the club or clubs of your city has turned to one of dizzying wealth and opportunities for the lucky few, the gifted. It would be difficult to therefore criticise Diego should he decide to leave as the money on offer is even beyond his wildest dreams and with the short career most footballers have, specially when they are at their peak, it is understandable if he wants to capitalise on the opportunities coming his way whilst he is hot property in the world of football.

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