Football: Chinese Super League clubs spend more than EPL sides during transfer window

China's Jiangsu Suning have signed Brazilian Alex Teixeira for €50 million euro (S$78 million).
China's Jiangsu Suning have signed Brazilian Alex Teixeira for €50 million euro (S$78 million).PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - China's Jiangsu Suning have signed Brazilian Alex Teixeira for €50 million euro (S$78 million), the club said on Friday, a new national record that pushed current Chinese Super League (CSL) spending past England's Premier League.

The midfielder - previously a target for Liverpool - signed a four-year contract, moving from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, Jiangsu Suning said on a verified social media account.

The monster move - the second time the record was broken in just three days - comes as China invests heavily in trying to build itself into a world-class football power.

According to the transfermarkt website, which tracks commercial dealings in the sport, clubs in the increasingly wealthy CSL have so far spent €258.9 million in China's current transfer window, which runs until Feb 26.

Premier League clubs spent €247.3 million in the European window, which closed earlier this week.

Teixeira is known for aggressive midfield play, and Jiangsu Suning praised his ability to "play in any front position", adding he "can also take charge of the wings".

The flexibility, it said, means that he can "change positions" when facing different teams, giving the club "more options on attack".

Teixeira, 26, scored 89 goals in 223 matches for Shakhtar, winning five Ukrainian titles, three national cups and five Ukrainian Super Cups.

His former club said on their website: "Shakhtar thank Alex for the time spent in the team and wish him success at his new club."

The deal is one of a string of record breakers that have come as China pumps money into the beautiful game, hoping to build a national football culture commensurate with its rising economic and military might.

Chinese businesses have invested huge sums in football since President Xi Jinping, an avowed fan of the sport, declared that hosting, qualifying for and winning a World Cup were national goals, although questions have been asked about whether some of the transfer deals have been overpriced.

On Wednesday, Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande signed Atletico Madrid's Colombian striker Jackson Martinez for €42 million.

The purchase broke a week-old Chinese record fee of €28 million, paid by Jiangsu Suning to acquire Brazilian midfielder Ramires from Chelsea.