Chinese football is certainly making a name for itself, with Chelsea midfielder Oscar recently making the £50m plus move to Shanghai from London.
And after English referee Mark Clattenburg was named best referee in the world for 2016 at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, the 41-year-old has become the latest figure to be linked with a move to China, according to the Daily Mirror.
First things first, let’s get our heads around the idea that an award for the best referee in the world exists.
Premier League official Mark Clattenburg has been voted the best referee in the world at the prestigious Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) December 27, 2016
They’re becoming celebrities in their own right with each passing day.
Cristiano Clattenburg about to fire one into the top corner pic.twitter.com/QpW91j9G7O— Football HQ (@FootbalIHQ) December 28, 2016
In fairness, he’s had a good year. An FA Cup final, a Champions League final, and the Euro 2016 final to be precise.
🏆 FA Cup final
🏆 Champions League final
🏆 Euros final
👏 Mark Clattenburg has been named referee of the year for 2016. pic.twitter.com/w4NGw2QcLd— bet365 (@bet365) December 27, 2016
There’s no doubt he’s big news.
What would a post-Clattenburg Premier League even look like?
If the Chinese League takes Bloody Clattenburg we are officially going to have nothing to talk about on our show for rest of season https://t.co/fA7kK827dr— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) December 28, 2016
Mark #Clattenburg could be on his way to the Chinese Super League.December 28, 2016
We can only hope Mike Dean isn’t tempted by a move.
Mark Clattenburg has been voted the best referee in the world at the Globe Soccer Awards. Errrrrr what about this guy?....... pic.twitter.com/Sl27HVfqWo— Unibet (@unibet) December 27, 2016
There aren’t many referees with a no-look booking in their locker.