Alex Teixeira: Shakhtar midfielder in 50m euro move to China

Alex Teixeira
Alex Teixeira had scored 22 goals in 15 league games and four goals in 10 Champions League appearances for Shakhtar this season

The Chinese transfer record has been broken for the third time in 10 days, with Jiangsu Suning spending £38.4m to sign Brazil midfielder Alex Teixeira.

The 26-year-old, who was a target for Premier League side Liverpool, has become the Chinese Super League's latest high-profile recruit.

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Ramires was signed by Jiangsu Suning for £25m.

That was followed by Jackson Martinez's £31m move to Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao from Atletico Madrid.

The total outlay on those three players is just over £94m (122m euros).

How much have CSL clubs spent?

According to the transfermarkt website, which tracks commercial dealings in the sport, they have spent £199.5m (258.9m euros) in their current transfer window, which runs until 26 February.

That could rise, with more big signings expected.

In contrast, Premier League clubs spent £175m (227m euros) in their window, which closed earlier this week.

Their costliest signing was the £18.3m Stoke City paid for Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

Liverpool had been closely linked with a move for Teixeira during the January transfer window.

Shakhtar Donetsk claimed they rejected a £24m offer from the Reds for the attacking midfielder before agreeing to sell him to Jiangsu.

The CSL season gets under way in early March.

Why are they spending big sums?

According to Rowan Simons, a Beijing-based football reporter, interest and investment in football has been "growing for five years".

He also says it is politically motivated, backed by the President of the People's Republic of China.

"President Xi is a big football fan," Simons told BBC World. "There has been a huge and unprecedented football revolution in China led by him, which has turned the game on its head."

Simons said schools were focusing more on football, adding: "It was seen that football was only useful if it was carried on into a profession.

"It's no longer just seen as a profession. It's an incredible transformation."

What do Premier League clubs think?

The recent spate of signings has started to attract attention in Britain.

Asked if the Premier League should be concerned about the CSL's spending power, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger replied: "Yes, of course.

"China looks to have the financial power to move the whole league of Europe to China."

However, he wondered whether CSL clubs would continue to pay out huge sums of money on transfer fees.

"Will they sustain their desire to do it?" he asked. "Let's remember, Japan started to do it a few years ago but slowed down.

"I don't know how deep the desire in China is. If it is a very strong political desire, we should worry."

China appears to be on the radar of Manchester City, who will play there this summer as past of their next pre-season tour.

They will feature in the International Champions Cup, an annual tournament series that features some of the world's top clubs.

What's it like to play in China?

Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne and former ex-Chelsea strikers Didier Drogba and Nicola Anelka have all experienced football in China, which has a population of about 1.3 billion.

So has former Nottingham Forest and West Ham striker Marlon Harewood, who spoke to the BBC's World Service about his time there.

"China has a lot of wealth and they love their football," he said. "They want to make it even bigger and bring bigger names in.

"There's not many countries that can compete with the top names in Europe, but they are trying to compete.

"By bringing in players like Martinez and others, they are trying to bring the standard to that level. It's not far off.

"The experience I had was amazing. I would definitely recommend it, even if they just try it for an experience. I know they would love it."

And what does Teixeira expect?

He says the move "happened very quickly", adding: "I immediately wondered whether it would be good for me, my family, the club, and took the appropriate decision."

But not before a quick search on the world wide web. "I checked out the city and the location I am moving to on the internet," he said.

Teixeira also confirmed there was interest from Premier League clubs.

"Unfortunately, all the proposals that came from them were somewhat windy and did not contain anything concrete," he said.

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