Chelsea have received a major blow ahead of their summer transfer plans as one of their top target Paris Saint-Germain star Ezequiel Lavezzi has agreed a move to Chinese Super League club Hebei Fortune.
The Argentine international will be joining the Chinese club on a deal worth £23.5 million after tax this month, but not before his side have clashed with Chelsea in the Champions League.
Lavezzi, who is due to be out of contract at the end the season , was heavily linked with a move away from Parc des Princes during the January transfer window, with the 30-year-old struggling for regular football after falling behind Angel di Maria in the pecking order.
His frustrations at the club alerted Inter Milan, Barcelona, Juventus and Chelsea, who showed interest in signing him.
His agents had held talks with Inter Milan, Juventus and Chelsea while Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua thought they had agreed a deal to sign the Argentina international on Tuesday.
However, it has been claimed that Hebei China Fortune trumped the European heavyweights is snapping up the former Napoli main on a two-year deal with a net salary of £10.2 million in his first season.
“The talks are going very well, but nothing will be finalised for a few days,” said PSG, whereas French media stated the Argentine’s exit to Hebei, where he could earn an annual salary of £10.2 million ($14.7 million).
With the current transfer window closing on February 26 in China, Shanghai Shenhua have also made enquiries about the availability of Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimović. In response, PSG have fended off all interest in the Sweden international, who reportedly has also resisted the calls from Shanghai.
Levezzi’s switch to Chinese Super League will see him join ex-Arsenal man Gervinho in Hebei, former Chelsea midfielder Ramires, Alex Teixeira, Jackson Martinez and Tim Cahill.