China’s Guangzhou Evergrande signs Jackson Martinez in record $45.8M deal

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Latest in a string of high-profile transfers made by Chinese Super League teams

Atletico Madrid striker signed to a four-year contract

CNN  — 

China’s effort to become a football powerhouse has reached a new level.

On Wednesday, its premier club Guangzhou Evergrande paid $45.8 million to sign Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez – a record transfer price for the burgeoning Chinese Super League.

Martinez, a 29-year-old Colombia international, was signed to a four-year contract and will begin training with the club next week in Dubai.

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China's goal of world soccer domination (2016)
02:16 - Source: CNN

The deal, which Evergrande announced via Twitter, is the latest in a string of high-profile transfers made by CSL teams in recent weeks.

READ: China’s million-dollar dream of soccer world domination

Jiangsu Suning FC recently signed 28-year-old Brazil international Ramires from Chelsea for a reported $28.5 million, while Shanghai Greenland Shenhua signed Colombian star Fredy Guarin from Inter Milan for a reported $14 million.

Last June, Evergrande also signed Brazilian star and former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho for $14 million.

The high-profile and high-priced transfers signal that China is dedicated to making a name for itself on the global football stage.

While Europe’s transfer window shut on Monday, Chinese clubs can sign players until February 26.

Martinez had a brief stint in Spain, scoring three goals in 15 appearances following his $38 million move from Porto in July 2015.

He had been prolific in his three years in Portugal, netting 67 times in the top flight.

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