Football: Atletico's Martinez joins Guangzhou Evergrande in record deal for a Chinese club

Jackson Martinez (right) vies with Celta Vigo's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Radoja during the Spanish Copa del Rey football match.
Jackson Martinez (right) vies with Celta Vigo's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Radoja during the Spanish Copa del Rey football match.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Guangzhou Evergrande have signed Atletico Madrid's Colombian striker Jackson Martinez for €42 million (S$65.67 million), the Chinese football club said on Wednesday, smashing the national transfer record.

Martinez, 29, whom Evergrande called "world class" on their website, is the latest Europe-based player to head to the increasingly wealthy Chinese Super League.

Atletico bought the player from FC Porto, where he had scored an impressive 92 goals in 133 games, but he struggled to establish himself in Spain, scoring just two goals in 15 Primera Liga appearances.

But Evergrande used the English epithets "goal poacher" and a "fox in the box" to describe him in their Chinese-language statement announcing the deal.

The purchase broke the week-old Chinese record buy, Jiangsu Suning's €28 million purchase of Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Ramires.

It took the Chinese Super League's total spending during the current transfer window to €203.9 million, according to website transfermarkt which tracks commercial dealings in the sport, second only to the English Premier League.