Belfast Telegraph

Sam Allardyce turned down move to China to roll back the years at Crystal Palace

Sam Allardyce turned his back on a lucrative offer from China - and a holiday in Dubai - to keep himself feeling young with Crystal Palace.

Chinese Super League clubs are throwing mind-boggling amounts of cash around in a bid to lure the world's best players to the country.

Carlos Tevez is the latest high-profile star to make the move after joining Shanghai Shenhua, while Chelsea midfielder Oscar joined their local rivals Shanghai SIPG.

Meanwhile the agent of arguably the biggest name of them all, Cristiano Ronaldo, has claimed Real Madrid have been offered 300million euros (£256million) for the Portugal superstar by a Chinese club.

Managers are also in demand and Allardyce has revealed he was offered the opportunity to head to Asia after his brief tenure as England manager came to an end.

But the 62-year-old prefers the cut and thrust of life battling against the drop from the Premier League - much to the annoyance of wife Lynn.

"An agent said there was a football club over there and you can go and have a chat with them if you want to, they're interested in you," Allardyce said.

"In all honesty, it wasn't for me at that stage.

"Was it tempting? Financially, yes. But for me, it wasn't right for me or my family. I didn't want to leave my family to go and work in China on my own. Basically, it is not for me.

"It was six or eight weeks ago so I probably wasn't particularly ready anyway. I didn't think I would get back into a job until after Christmas and the new year.

"And I had booked Dubai for a holiday, so the wife is not speaking to me!"

Allardyce admits the England axe in September - after he was caught out by a newspaper sting - knocked the stuffing out of him, but he insists the old fire has returned.

"I was getting bored. I was getting itchy," he said. "I was watching a game on the telly, seeing Sunderland beat Watford, and I just thought 'I miss it'.

"England? I am over it. I will never forget it but I am over it. It will always be there but I have moved on and I want Crystal Palace to be successful.

"I like the pressure the game brings, I like working with young people who keep you young.

"I'm 62 now and when I wake up in the morning I don't feel like I want to stop. I don't feel 62 when I'm at a football club. I feel like I'm alive."


From Belfast Telegraph