Soccer

Lavezzi turned down Manchester United and Chelsea for China move

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 27: Ezequiel Lavezzi of PSG celebrates his goal during the French League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue) match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Toulouse FC (TFC) on January 27, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 27: Ezequiel Lavezzi of PSG celebrates his goal during the French League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue) match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Toulouse FC (TFC) on January 27, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Ezequiel Lavezzi says he turned down the chance to join Chelsea or Manchester United to instead move to China.

The 30-year-old was one of a number of high-profile players to leave Europe for the Chinese Premier League in January, ending a three-and-a-half year spell with Paris St-Germain to sign for Hebei China Fortune.

His contract with PSG was set to expire in the summer and he has revealed he could have chosen the Premier League over China.

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"I could have signed for Inter, Chelsea or Manchester United," he told local media at his introduction. "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.

"I like the project to develop this club. It was that which convinced me to come to Hebei, as well as the financial aspect.

"I'm also fascinated by Chinese culture, so to come and play here is definitely an interesting challenge."

Lavezzi has played 48 times for Argentina but admits moving to China could spell the end of his international career.

"It's probable that it's finished," he said. "But I already took my decision and from now on I want to give everything for my club."