The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has introduced its strongest policy to date to curb soaring transfer fees on foreign players amid speculation Diego Costa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could move to China.
A fee in excess of £60 million has been mooted for Chelsea's Costa, who continues to be linked with Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian, while Borussia Dortmund star Aubameyang could command a similar figure after Shanghai SIPG's Oscar arrived in China for a league-record €60m.
The CFA wants to put an end to the inflated fees and focus on youth, with the transfer rule – set to come into effect in June – forcing clubs to invest into a development fund should they take a transfer loss.
With Oscar, Hulk, Carlos Tevez, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Axel Witsel, Graziano Pelle, Paulinho, Ramires and Alex Teixeira calling China home following big-money moves, the CFA released a statement saying: "A special fee would be imposed on any club who has a trade deficit in a single transfer market.
"The club would be paying the same amount of money as their outlay on player recruitment to the Chinese Football Development Fund.
"Money from the fee will be used to the development of young players, the promotion of grassroots football and charities. The regulation will be effective from the upcoming summer transfer window.
"The new measure aims to promote the healthy and stable development of the professional football and rein in the trend of keeping up with the Joneses and showing off overpriced signings."
On top of that, the CFA plans to introduce another rule to increase the playing time of China Under-23 players.
"Each Chinese Super League and Chinese League One club will be required to field the same number of local U23 players as their foreign counterparts in each domestic match," said the CFA. "The regulation will be effective from 2018."
It comes after the CFA cut down the maximum number of foreign players in the CSL, capping the number of imports in any side, with teams now restricted to fielding three at any given time during a game and naming five in the matchday squad.