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Yannick Carrasco linked with China move

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Asia appears to be beckoning for Atlético’s fiery #10.

Atletico de Madrid v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Reports from various Spanish media outlets say that Yannick Carrasco is considering a shock move to China this month.

First mooted by La Sexta’s Belen Sánchez García, followed by AS’ F.J. Diaz, Onda Cero’s Hector Fernández and others, Atlético Madrid’s Belgian winger appears to have had his head turned by an offer from Dalian Yifang of the Chinese Super League. The reports are not in total agreement with one another at this point — from the transfer fee to how badly Carrasco wants the move to whether Diego Simeone has OK’d the player’s departure — but all outlets say that the offer is out there, and it is a serious one.

Monaco, Carrasco’s old team, would be due a quarter of the 24-year-old’s transfer fee. If he is sold for €30 million, Monaco would get €7.5m in their coffers. One factor in the low fee would that Chinese clubs now essentially have to pay the transfer fee and then the same amount to the government, a rule put in place in an attempt to stop massive purchases in the Super League.

Carrasco has still not managed to secure his place in the Atlético XI despite ample opportunities over the past two seasons. There has long been tension between Carrasco and Simeone, with the player’s well-documented sideline strops not going down well in the dressing room.

Though this could just be talk to drum up interest around Europe, it now seems certain Carrasco leaves in the summer, barring a truly world-class stretch to end the season. Atlético’s #10 has yet to score in 2018 and has made just eight starts in LaLiga this season. And although he hasn’t played much, Vitolo’s high-priced arrival is a further threat to the ill-tempered winger’s playing time.

After his heroic goal in Milan in his first season at the club, Carrasco seemed to be on a trajectory to be one of the best wingers in Europe, but his Atleti career has stalled and a move might be the best option for both club and player.