A Chinese Super League (CSL) club were prevented from breaking the world transfer record by new rules prohibiting an influx of foreign players, according to new revelations in the country's media.
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One of the lucrative Asian league's clubs were set to buy an unnamed player for a fee of €120 million earlier this month, eclipsing the €105m deal that took Paul Pogba to Manchester United last year.
However, a Chinese media outlet quote an insider source claiming the CSL were poised to "ruin" the global transfer market if they continued to raid foreign leagues.
“A string of big-money transfers in recent months have struck a nerve with high-ranking leaders who took charge of Chinese football," the unnamed source told Soccer News. "They took particular exception to those deals completed at the beginning of the year."
“The Chinese football association (CFA) was told to come up with new regulations to curtail the irrational investment on foreign players. To make matters worse, the Chinese national team had suffered a miserable run of results in the World Cup qualifiers, which prompted those high-ranking leaders to conclude that money is not being well-spent.
“As a matter of fact, a CSL club was about to complete the signing of a foreign player for a stunning transfer fee of €120m, if it were not for the new restrictions. The CFA were warned that the football market would be utterly ruined if the shopping spree goes on.
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“And it’s worthing mentioning that even some state-owned enterprises are burning money without any restraints, which sets a really bad example.
"For all the negatives though, new regulations are the only and the most effective treatment to cure the illness of abnormal investment.”
Carlos Tevez, Oscar and Axel Witsel are among the string of high-profile transfers to the CSL in the last month from clubs and leagues considered more prestigious.
Tianjin Quanjian recently claimed that the new restrictions forced them to back out of deals for Chelsea's Diego Costa, PSG's Edinson Cavani, Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and Monaco's Radamel Falcao.