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Sports

China's Guangzhou Evergrande smash transfer record to sign Jackson Martinez

Martinez becomes the latest player to trade Europe for China as the country's football clubs flaunt its ever-increasing wealth. China has outspent all major European leagues in the January transfer window.

Chinese heavyweights Guangzhou Evergrande have signed Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez for 42 million euros ($45.8 million), smashing the transfer record for Asian football.

The 29-year-old forward, a previous transfer target of Borussia Dortmund, has penned a four-year-deal with the Chinese Super League club and has become the latest foreign player to arrive in China.

China's Super League clubs were the biggest spenders in the January transfer window, while over the course of the 2014-15 season, the country is second to England's Premier League with 108-million-euros ($117 million) spent on new recruits.

Martinez follows Gervinho, Fredy Guarin and Chelsea's Ramires to sign in January. Former Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba, ex-Spurs midfielder Paulinho and Robinho are currently playing in China's Super League.

"We firmly believe that the additional of international football star Jackson Martinez will strengthen our attack, providing more exciting performances for everyone," the club said in an official statement.

Last year, Guangzhou became the first Chinese side to win the Asian Champions League for a second time under head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The club is the dominant force in the country, winning five successive titles, while the Alibaba Group holds a 40 percent stake in the company.