Mark Clattenburg would consider a transfer to China

Now there's a sentence we never thought we'd write!

Mark Clattenburg would consider a transfer to China

Referee Matt Clattenburg. Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Jonathan Porter

England's top referee Mark Clattenburg would consider a move to China if such an opportunity presented itself.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Clattenburg said: "China are certainly looking to develop their football, looking at their signings and their recruitment.

"If an opportunity came along, I am contracted to the Premier League, but I have to look at my long-term strategy of my career. How long can I last as a referee? I have been in the Premier League 12 years. It's been a wonderful 12 years.

"There is no offer on the table but if they made an offer it would be under consideration. But at the moment I still enjoy working for the Premier League and UEFA," he added.

Roy Keane of Manchester Utd shows his frustration at a decision by referee Mark Clattenburg
Image: ©INPHO/Getty Images

The Englishman has enjoyed a stellar year blowing the whistle, taking charge of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and the decider at EURO 2016 between France and Portugal.

The 41 year old hopes to help raise the standard in China one day saying: "Money has never been a driver as a referee ... It's about the drive of doing something different, maybe helping the recruitment."

"If it didn't happen now I will be looking in the future at that, a bit like Howard Webb has done where you are helping another country develop refereeing.

"China is going to become a huge player in years to come ... If they want to be serious about their league they are going to have to have the right setup. Refereeing is a huge part of football," he added.