Chinese Super League clubs are the biggest spenders of 2017 so far, having splashed a staggering £333.54 million (Rupees 2,735 crore ) on players during the winter transfer window, which is almost 33% more than the English Premier League. Premier League’s spent on new talent at the end of deadline day in England, on January 31, was £222.32m (Rupees 1,823 crore).
However, the CSL window was open until Tuesday, February 28, 2017 allowing China’s top teams to surge clear on account of a succession of high-profile deals. The CSL announced itself as football’s newest financial superpower 12 months ago with a stunning outlay of £292.94m, with the likes of Ramires, Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira leaving Europe for the Far East as China’s transfer record was broken three times in the space of a month.
It was anticipated that less money would be spent this year due to the Chinese Football Association imposing new restrictions on the use of foreign players. However, after Shanghai SIPG smashed the CSL transfer record last summer by paying Zenit £47.43m (Rs 388.93 crores) for Hulk, Andre Villas-Boas’ side struck again in January by acquiring Brazil international Oscar from Premier League leaders Chelsea for £51m (Rs 418.16 crores).
In addition, while Shanghai Shenhua only handed over £8.93m (Rs 77.22 crore) for Boca Juniors legend Carlos Tevez, it is believed that the Argentine is now the highest paid player in the world, with some reports claiming that the forward is earning £615,000 (Rs 50.42 crore) per week.
There were several other significant coups, with Belgium’s Axel Witsel (£17m), snubbing Serie A titleholders Juventus to link up with Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian, who also splashed £15.3m on former Selecao star Alexandre Pato.
Eyebrows were raised, too, when Changhun Yatai agreed to give Watford a whopping £19.81m for striker Odion Ighalo, who had netted just once during the first half of the present Premier League season.
Elsewhere, Hernanes joined Hebei China Fortune, with Juve pocketing £6.8m for the Brazilian midfielder, while Christian Bassogog earned himself a £3.74m transfer to Henan Jianye from Aalborg on the back of his sensational exploits with Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations.