In light of Shanghai Shenhua‘s severe financial troubles and the fact that both of its major international signings are in the process of jumping ship, it seems ridiculous to talk about the club signing any new big name players. But this is Zhu Jun we’re talking about, and the rumours that Zhu may be about to coax David Beckham into joining his floundering club won’t go away.
According to the Mirror, such a move by Beckham would net him at least £250,000 (2.5m yuan) a week.
But it’s the haul from merchandising deals that would be the greatest – estimated by experts at £20million.
It would take Brand Beckham – already worth £190 million – to world domination.
The move is being personally masterminded by TV’s Pop Idol mogul Simon Fuller, a close pal and business associate of the Beckhams.
The deal would give David, 37, and wife Victoria the chance to sell their brands in a nation of nearly one-and-a-half billion people.
Becks has a bodywear range with fashion chain H&M and his own aftershave, while Posh, 38, has her fashion range.
A source close to David told the Sunday People : “He has cracked Europe and America, he now has the chance to become huge in China and the Far East. This is a huge decision for him.
“While David wants one final challenge in football, a move to China is about more than that. It will push Brand Beckham to a whole new level.”
The Beckhams have reportedly been shopping for homes in London in preparation for a return to the UK, though sources close to the footballer say that he may commute (!) to Shanghai while his wife and three children stay in Britain.
It’s worth reiterating that for all Zhu Jun’s big money signings last year, the club finished only a point higher than previous years, still nowhere near the top of the Chinese Super League.