Record spend as China transfer window closes


Moves for Carlos Tevez and Oscar helped take Chinese Super League spending to a record

Chinese clubs spent £331m during the country’s winter transfer window, outstripping the Premier League.

The country’s winter window closed on Tuesday, with the 16 Chinese Super League clubs passing the £215m spent by England’s 20 top-tier teams in January.

Oscar’s move to Shanghai SIPG for about £60m and Shanghai Shenhua’s reported £40m deal for Carlos Tevez came days before spending caps were announced.

Limits on the number foreign players in squads are in place for the new season.

Only three non-Chinese players can be fielded in a fixture when the season starts in March, a move the country’s football association hopes will combat “irrational” spending.

But the total spend for the winter window – which ran from 1 January to 28 February – was a record for the Super League, exceeding the 2016 window by £36m.

Big movers, big spenders

Chinese president Xi Jinping earns a base salary of around £16,000 a year, while Carlos Tevez will reportedly earn around 19 times that in a week

The Chinese Super League’s spending power came to prominence when 25-year-old Oscar agreed leave Chelsea to join forces with former manager Andre Villas-Boas.

It proved the biggest deal globally in the winter window but other notable Chinese moves saw Odion Ighalo join Changchun Yatai – a side who finished fifth from bottom last season – for £20m.

Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, who was thought to be an Everton target, moved from Zenit St Petersburg to Tianjin Quanjian, where he will receive a reported £15.3m annual salary.

China’s winter window runs for 28 days longer than those of European clubs. The country’s spend was 16 times bigger than the total outlay in La Liga and more than the sum spent in Spain, Italy, Germany and France combined.

Ending the free-spending cycle

Figures obtained from