Guangzhou Evergrande have officially completed the signing of striker Jackson Martinezfrom Atletico Madrid for a Chinese record €42 million (£31.8m).
The deal smashes the previous £21m record Jiangsu Suning paid Chelsea for midfielder Ramires, a benchmark that did not even last a full week as the Chinese Super League’s immense recruitment drive continues.
Clubs in the top two tiers of Chinese football spent more than €200m collectively during January, with Martinez and Ramires also joined by the likes of Gervinho and Fredy Guarin in moving to the increasingly star-studded league.
— GZ Evergrande FC (@GZEvergrandeFC) February 3, 2016
Martinez moves to China on a four-year deal after successfully completing a medical and agreeing terms late on Tuesday and flies directly to Dubai to link up with his new team-mates on their winter training camp.
The Colombia international will now be managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari and will link up with fellow South Americans such as Paulinho and Ricardo Goulart.
The 29-year-old only joined Atletico in the summer, struggling to make an impact at the club following his €35m move from Porto amid rumours of a falling out with fiery coach Diego Simeone.
Credit: Guangzhou Evergrande
Incredibly, that means Atleti have actually made a €7m profit (£5.3m) on a player that scored just two goals in 15 uninspiring La Liga appearances, as well as netting a solitary goal in the Champions League.
Infamous super-agent Jorge Mendes, most closely associated with Cristiano Ronaldo, helped broker a deal that sees Martinez become the most expensive transfer of 2016 so far, and the biggest signing in Chinese football history.
Although Martinez struggled at Atletico, he had an impeccable record at former club Porto; the Colombian bagged at least 20 league goals in each of his three campaigns in Portugal, racking up 92 goals in 132 appearances in all competitions.
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