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Transfer Rater: Sarr to Arsenal

Football Whispers
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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo asked about life in China - Luiz Felipe Scolari

Luiz Felipe Scolari has said he advised Cristiano Ronaldo to play in China after the Real Madrid star asked his former Portugal manager about life there.

Last January, Madrid president Florentino Perez denied a claim by Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes that a Chinese club had made a €300 million offer for Ronaldo.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola also reported that "the multi-millionaires in Chinese football" were preparing "astronomical offers worth €180 million" to push through a deal.

Former Guangzhou Evergrande coach Scolari, Ronaldo's national boss between 2004 and 2008, told Brazilian outlet Esporte Interativo he had suggested that China could be good for Ronaldo.

"Yes, he has asked me more than once what it is like to live in China," Scolari said. "I told him everything.

"And we also must understand that China is China for different players. Cristiano Ronaldo has his brands, is an industry.

"And China is the best country in the world. I told him what I always say, whoever gets the chance, must come to China."

Ronaldo, 33, is under contract at Madrid until 2021, but there is uncertainty over his long-term plans amid a stand-off with Perez over a pay rise and issues with Spanish tax officials.

Scolari was speaking during a visit to Portugal in which he attended the Quinas de Ouro awards ceremony, at which Ronaldo was named Portugal's player of the year for 2017.

The former Brazil and Chelsea manager won six trophies during his three years at Guangzhou, including three consecutive Chinese Super League titles and the 2015 AFC Champions League.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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