Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney is the next target for big-spending Chinese Super League clubs, according to Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Per John Cross in the Mirror, Rooney will be offered £500,000 a week to move to China, with Super League clubs "increasingly confident" that he could be persuaded away from United when he becomes the club's all-time record goalscorer—he is currently five back from Sir Bobby Charlton's landmark of 249.
Will Wayne Rooney move to the Chinese Super League before he retires?
Former England boss Eriksson, currently in charge of CSL club Shanghai SIPG, is convinced that the likes of Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will eventually be attracted to the Far East, but not just yet, per Swedish outlet Expressen (via Cross).
"Who doesn’t want Rooney? But I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to leave Manchester United. Not for this moment, anyway," said Eriksson. "Sooner or later, we are going to see names like Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney in this league—players on this level."
Rooney, 31, is contracted to the Old Trafford club until 2019 in a deal worth up to £300,000 a week.
Chinese clubs have shown their willingness in recent weeks to spend big money on high-profile players, attracting the likes of Ramires, Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira, proving they are now major players in the transfer market, per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones:
However, it is surely unlikely, as Eriksson noted, that Rooney will be tempted to move to China just yet.
He remains handsomely paid at United and, despite a poor opening half of the season, has shown in recent matches that he still has his goalscoring touch, per Squawka Dave:
No Premier League player has been directly involved in more goals (7) than Rooney in 2016 (4 goals & 3 assists). pic.twitter.com/IriGxxye9K— Squawka Dave (@SquawkaDave) February 8, 2016
Furthermore, he has plenty still to achieve. Alan Shearer's all-time Premier League record of 260 is still theoretically within reach if Rooney plays on for another three or four years.
He would also undoubtedly like to lead United back to the upper echelons of English and European football following their recent struggles in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
However, a late-career move to China for Rooney is certainly not out of the question. The likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have both moved abroad—to America's Major League Soccer—to finish their careers after Premier League success.
And given it's profile in the game and financial clout, China will surely now be the destination of choice for ageing stars in the future.
Elsewhere, AC Milan are reportedly set to return for Marouane Fellaini in the summer having missed out on signing him on loan in January.
The United midfielder is reportedly set to be the subject of a £12 million bid from the Serie A giants, who are prepared to offer him a three-year deal, per the Mirror.
The towering Belgian has struggled to hold down a permanent starting spot at United since joining the club in 2013, although he has been a regular in Louis van Gaal's first team so far in 2016, per WhoScored.com.
If the Dutchman is still in charge in the summer, then he may want to keep hold of Fellaini as he often uses him as a utility player, but Van Gaal's future is in significant doubt at the moment, which increases Milan's chances of getting their man at the end of the season.