Former Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi told French cable Canal+ that he turned down the chance to play for Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United before moving to Chinese Super League’s Hebei Fortune.
“I could have signed for Inter, Chelsea or Manchester United,” said the 30-year-old Argentine international. “But I made the decision to go to China.”
“It’s an important choice for my career. I’m sure I’ll face many challenges here,” he said.
Lavezzi was officially announced to sign with the Chinese Super League side almost two weeks ago, joining a handful of high-profile players who made likely moves in the past two months to China, namely Jackson Martinez, Ramires and Alex Teixeira.
The Argentine attacker admitted that he was partially allured by the lucrative salary as he departed PSG for Hebei with a contract reportedly worth 15 million euros per season.
“I like the project to develop this club. It was that which convinced me to come to Hebei, as well as the financial aspect,” said Lavezzi. “I’m also fascinated by Chinese culture, so to come and play here is definitely an interesting challenge.”
The former Napoli striker also realized that his international career has almost certainly been brought to an end by leaving a major club competition, but feels he has made the correct decision.
“Yes, it’s likely that experience is over,” he said. “But I’ve already made the decision to come here and I want to do my best for my new club.”
His contract with PSG was previously signed to run out this summer, meaning the Ligue 1 defending champions would have let him go as a free agent if not selling him the past winter.