Nigeria stars should join exodus to China –Pascal

IMG-20150625-WA006Super Eagles coordinator Patrick Pascal says Nigeria stars should jump at a chance to leave their European clubs for megabucks in the Chinese Super League.

China is fast becoming the new destination for some top football stars, with clubs in the Asian country stumping up the cash.

Alex Teixeira became the latest player to move to the less-fancied Chinese league after the forward   shunned interest from Liverpool to seal a four-year contract worth     £40m with Jiangsu Suning from Ukrainian powerhouse Shakhtar Donetsk on Friday.

Colombia star Jackson Martinez dumped Spanish giants Atletico Madrid for a £31m move to Chinese outfit Guangzhou Evergrande last week.

Martinez’s move came after Brazil midfielder Ramires made a £25m move to Jiangsu Suning, and former Arsenal attacker Gervinho left Roma to join Hebei China Fortune in a deal worth £13.7m.

Watford scoring sensation Odion Ighalo, on-loan West Ham forward Emmanuel Emenike and Chelsea midfield star Mikel Obi have also attracted interest from some Chinese sides.

Ighalo revealed recently he rejected almost £300,000-a-week deal to join a Chinese side in the summer transfer.

“They have called again and I have turned them down again,” Daily Mail quoted the 26-year-old Nigeria striker, who has scored 14 premier League goals this term, as saying on Saturday.

“Maybe if I keep scoring goals, that team will come with triple the money at the end of the season. When the time is right to go to China I will know. If it’s for me it will come to pass.”

Emenike’s former club Al Ain confirmed last month an unnamed Chinese club made enquires for   the ex-Super Eagles forward before he opted for the Hammers.

Former Eagles defender Pascal, who plied his trade in Turkey, Belgium and China, says he is delighted the Chinese league is currently attracting top stars.

“Our top stars should move to China to make big money if the opportunity arises,” the former Shooting Stars told punch.

“I think the Chinese are planning for the future by signing stars to make their league attractive.

“With the calibre of players in the league, the international media will soon focus their attention on the Chinese league.”

He added, “There  are African players who play for their countries, despite playing in China. Gervinho (Ivory Coast) and Asamoah Gyan (Ghana captain) are playing in China.

“If our stars are offered better contracts in China, they should go there.

“The situation in our country is such that you are only relevant if you have something to show for your years in the game.

“Nobody will remember that you played alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona if you can’t feed your family.”