Former Chelsea midfielder Oscar has revealed he was on the verge of signing for Atletico Madrid last January before moving to the Chinese Super League instead.
The Brazilian international joined Shanghai SIPG for £54m after having spent five years at Stamford Bridge. In trying to explain his switch to the Far East, he said he had to consider his family’s future before his own career aspirations, but he is hopeful that at the age of 26, he can still return to Europe in the not too distant future so he can play at the highest level once again. He was quoted by Chelseanews.ru as saying:
“Before going to Shanghai, I negotiated with big European clubs. I practically agreed with Atletico. I liked their offer very much. In addition, I was wanted by Juventus, Inter Milan and Milan. I am sure that my level allows [for me] playing in the leading clubs in Europe.”
“When I decided to join Shanghai, I undoubtedly thought more about my family than about my career. The proposal was too tempting. I just had to accept this offer, but I’m still young and I know that I will return to Europe, because I still have time.”
Oscar joined Chelsea from Internacional for £28m in 2012 and went on to make 203 appearances for the Blues, scoring 38 goals and providing 37 assists. In his final campaign for the club, he was not a first team regular under Antonio Conte, making just six starts; five of which came at the very start of last season.