Chinese football has continued its spending splurge as Guangzhou Evergrande sign Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez for £31 million.
The 29-year-old’s switch to the two-time Asian Champions League winners breaks the Asian transfer record and is further evidence of the newly acquired spending power of Chinese Super League clubs backed by a huge increase in broadcasting revenue and investors looking to become involved in a market which has massive potential growth.
Martinez, who signs a four-year deal with Guangzhou, is the latest football star to swap Europe for China.
Former Chelsea midfielder Ramires sealed a £21m switch to Jiangsu Suning, Gervinho moved from Roma to Hebei China Fortune for £13.5m and Fredy Guarin swapped Inter for Shangai Shenhua in this window alone.
A number of Brazilians are already plying their trade in China, with former Spurs midfielder Paulinho and Real Madrid striker Robinho playing for Guangzhou Evergrande whilst Ashamoah Gyan and Demba Ba, both of whom played in the Premier League, feature too.
At the time of writing, four of the five biggest transfers in the January transfer window have involved Chinese clubs and more is expected with the window not closing for another month in China before the new season kicks off in March.
TOP FIVE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW DEALS
|Jackson Martinez||Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN)||Atletico Madrid||£25m|
|Ramires||Jiangsu Suning (CHN)||Chelsea||£21m|
|Giannelli Imbula||Stoke City (ENG)||Porto||£18m|
|Elkeson||Shanghai SIPG (CHN)||Guangzhou Evergrande||£13.9m|
|Gervinho||Hebei China Fortune (CHN)||Roma||£13.5m|
It has taken the spending in China to over £150m this window, rivalling the English Premier League in terms of financial outlay on players. China’s second division has spent £36m further underlining the financial wealth of these clubs. (source: transfermarkt.com)