The Chinese Super League appears to be adopting a 'kid in a candy store' approach to the transfer market. Axel Witsel and Oscar one week, Aston Villa's erratic winger the next.
Ghanaian international Jordan Ayew was a rare bright spark in an otherwise dismal season in 2015/16 but he has failed to kick on consistently in the Championship, his hit-and-miss performances encouraging Steve Bruce to utilise his talents only sporadically from the start.
In 21 appearances, Ayew has found the back of the net only twice and, although he provides an element of maverick unpredictability to an otherwise workmanlike midfield, few Villa fans would be too disappointed to see the 25-year-old leave in January in return for a substantial transfer fee.
The Birmingham Mail reports that a number of Chinese clubs, including Shanghai SIPG, have expressed an interest, although Villa will only accept offers in excess of £10 million.
Nonetheless, this is unlikely to deter teams in a league which is set to welcome the £38 million arrival of former Blackburn Rovers striker Nikola Kalinic, The Sun reports.
Furthermore, Villa would surely welcome an extra injection of funds as they attempt to beat Crystal Palace to the signature of a player who, for some unknown reason, was not plucked from relegated Norwich City last season.
The Guardian report that Norwich want £12 millon for Robbie Brady this month, with Palace already seeing a bid of around half that rejected. The asking price also dwarfes Villa's reported £10 million move, via The Sun, meaning the money earned from Ayew’s potential sale could be put to good use.
The Republic of Ireland international’s versatility and Championship experience means he would be a much more handy addition to Bruce than the inconsistent Ayew. His excellent set-piece deliveries, pinpoint crosses and eye for the spectacular make Brady one of the league's most dangerous attacking threats and he would surely ramp up the attacking threat of a side who have accrued just 26 goals in 25 league fixtures.
However, although Villa owner Tony Xia is in no need to sell before he can buy, the prospect of making a profit on one under-performing player and spending it on an upgrade would represent sound financial and footballing sense.