Alex Teixeira to China will not be last major move, says La Liga president

La Liga president Javier Tebas says he is not surprised by Chinese clubs' spending power and he expects more Europe-based stars to move there in the near future.

Five of the six biggest transfer deals over the last month have involved Chinese clubs -- including Jiangsu Suning signing reported Liverpool target Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk for €50 million, and Colombia international Jackson Martinez moving from Atletico Madrid to Guangzhou Evergrande for €42m.

Other big names -- including Chelsea pair John Terry and Radamel Falcao -- have also been linked with future moves to China and the country is now being taken more seriously as a destination for top players.

Speaking to AS, the Liga chief said he had personally visited China and was sure that the financial muscle was real and likely to continue growing.

"It is a powerful market," Tebas said. "I was in China recently. Twenty percent of the world's population lives there. They will be a power. Their TV rights were $15m, and now they are $300m.

"This is not a bubble -- there is work being done to develop and it will get even bigger. They say they will sign even more stars."

Such spending contrasts hugely with a very quiet winter transfer window in Spain, with just €27m in total spent by top flight clubs, and a positive balance overall after Martinez's move to China.

Attending the launch of Prime Time Sport's report on the winter market, Tebas put the lack of spending down to more economic realism among clubs' decision makers, while saying the positive was that Spain-based stars were not currently leaving for bigger salaries elsewhere.

"There was not much money spent in this market," he said. "Decisions are taken for strategic reasons, not for the pressure from the fans.

"When I arrived at La Liga I knew that the financial controls and the TV contract would enable clubs to hold onto their stars. That is happening now."

Tebas was also asked about developments at the Spanish federation (RFEF) where long-serving president Angel Maria Villar may be barred from standing from re-election in April, with the Spanish government having this week sought out documents which may show public funds were used to help some favoured clubs out of financial difficulties.

He said he was backing Jorge Perez, currently secretary general, as someone who could bring badly needed change to the federation.

"There must be an alternative candidate to Villar," he explained. "Jorge Perez has all the conditions to be that alternative candidate.

"The change must come from inside -- where they realise that this model has run its course. They need to rebuild relations with La Liga. There should be debate and sitting down together to speak about football.

"Maybe we do not agree in everything with Jorge Perez. But he is a good candidate -- he has a positive message and can lead the change."