KEY POINTS

  • Wu Lei is reportedly being offered to Watford
  • Wu has been urged to make the jump to the Premier League
  • Wolverhampton's interest in Wu Lei has slowed down

Wu Lei of Espanyol is being offered to Watford, with the Chinese-owned Spanish club reportedly struggling with financial problems. Like most teams, Espanyol is likely dealing with the crunch brought in by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing them to sell some of their players.

Before Watford, the team heavily linked to the 28-year-old player was Wolverhampton. The Wolves have several Chinese players in their age-group sides and academy, but none are as high-profile as Wu, the South China Morning Post reported. But it appears Watford is now in the driver's seat for the services of the Chinese football player.

This season, Wu has scored eight times for Espanyol at La Liga. He has proven to be a worthy investment since being acquired in 2018 from Shanghai SIPG for $2.25 million.

Wu is the second all-time top goalscorer in the Chinese Super League with 102 goals to his credit. Aside from that, Wu Lei holds the distinction of being the youngest player to appear in a Chinese pro league. He was only 14 and 287 days at the time.

Despite calls for him to exit Espanyol, Wu has no immediate plans to leave the club. According to a report from Chinese news outlet Xinhua, the 28-year-old has said he would prefer to stay with Magico for as long as the club wants him around.

Wu Lei (2R) left Barcelona ruing two lost points after his late leveller earned a draw for Espanyol Wu Lei (2R) left Barcelona ruing two lost points after his late leveller earned a draw for Espanyol Photo: AFP / PAU BARRENA

Wu returned to action on June 13 and made his presence felt against Alaves. Espanyol won that game, 2-0, a welcome return for the club since football action got suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Wu tested positive for the coronavirus in March but showed no major symptoms of COVID-19. However, it remains that the club is struggling and is currently at the bottom of the league standings.

"If Espanyol needs me, and I'm capable of making contributions to the team, I will choose to stay," Wu said.

With Espanyol struggling, Wu has been urged by many to consider moving to a new club. Former Chian international and Manchester United player Dong Fangshou believes Wu should consider moving to the English Premier League in a video via his Weibo account.

"I think Espanyol is not a good fit for Wu now. Considering the team's deficiencies in midfield, the lack of supply to Wu upfront and the squad's overall instability, I don't think Wu should stay at the club," Dong said. "He should be in the English Premier League. He is now much more mature in terms of body strength and mentality," he added.