Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Players move to China for money - Mertens

Published:Saturday | February 11, 2017 | 2:39 AM

Napoli star Dries Mertens said he rejected a big offer from a Chinese club and said that players who move to the Asian country in the prime of their careers are motivated by money.

"Sometimes you hear players talking about their life choices as a search for a new experience. It's not true, they're driven by money," Mertens said.

Napoli were reportedly planning to include a clause in Mertens' proposed new contract that included a €50m premium for Chinese clubs, in a bid to deter teams from the region, but the forward made it clear the Partenopei need not worry about such provisions.

curious

"I'd like to know more about Asian culture. Asia is high on my bucket list but for an experience away from football.

"Am I curious about what's happening to Witsel? Yes, we've sought information about it, and together with my wife, we've weighed up the pros and cons from testimonies of people who have been there.

"There's so much smog there and even the food would be a problem. The money they offered me was very good, I thought about it for a day but in the end I refused.

"I can assure you one thing: it was really hard to say 'no' to such a figure because it guarantees wealth for your children and even grandchildren."