Finishing fifth in Bundesliga scoring last season with 15 goals was sufficient to have Anthony Modeste in the sights of China’s Super League during their infamous summer spending spree that captured, among many, former FC striker Anthony Ujah. Beijing Sinobo Guang FC attempted to poach Modeste from Köln, but improper paperwork and swift action by Sporting Director Jörg Schmadtke flipped the situation from potentially losing a goal-scoring Anthony in consecutive summers to an extension with the French striker into 2021.
And the new contract reportedly has no escape clause.
Having scored 17 in his first 21 matches of the current season, putting him level with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang atop the list of the Bundesliga’s top scorers, has apparently only increased interest in bringing “Big Mo'” to China. Over the weekend, word spread of a €40 million offer for an “immediate transfer” to Tianjin Quanjian FC.
“To sell, or not to sell” was undoubtedly the subject of many post-match discussions Sunday evening after the FC drew 1:1 at home with Schalke, with Modeste providing the equalizer after his side fell behind early. Deciding whether turning down an obscene amount of money or surrendering the most-crucial player to your season’s success gave everyone a chance to play sporting director over a few beers or via social media, but the man who’s been doing the job so well for our club didn’t see that the situation needed much consideration.
“Our position is clear: We will not endanger our sporting goals over a transfer, even if it is a lot of money,” says Schmadtke. “There currently is no Schmerzgrenze (pain threshold) in the matter.”
So, for the time being, NO SALE!
But what does Big Mo’ think of the entire thing? While everyone was debating the pros and cons of the offer, Modeste himself had been silent on the matter until Tuesday, when he spoke his mind.
“Just as in the summer, I didn’t want to go,” said Modeste at the FC Karneval session. “I am happy here and want to continue to score goals here.”
What had not been reported was the amount of money Modeste would make himself from moving to China. A full third of the world’s 15 biggest football salaries are being paid to players in the Chinese Super League. Even with the raise last summer, it’s a sure bet that the clubs from Tianjin and Beijing were also offering a significant pay boost for the player.
After the saga of the summer transfer played out, Modeste made it sound as if had never had any interest in what was offered, explaining that with infant son Brooklyn needing medical attention due to food allergies and sensitivities, he felt more comfortable staying in Germany.
“Money is not so important. The family is important. I need them for my life and to be able to play football,” said Modeste after extending over the summer. “If we stay in Köln, all are satisfied.
As his profile continues to rise, bigger offers are bound to come his way, including some that would not require a move to the far east.
For now, however, Modeste will enjoy the Karneval and get ready for a trip to Leipzig.
And we fantasy sporting directors can all know that we made the right move.