Jackson Martinez, Ramires and Tim Cahill... stars who play in China

Paulinho, Cahill & Ramires graphic cover

Familiar faces are increasingly plying their trade in places such as USA and Qatar, and China is the latest country making a big statement with their signings. 

Ramires completed a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning from Chelsea for a fee of £25m last month, becoming another high-profile player to make the move to the Far East.

Chelsea's Ramires
Image: Chelsea's Ramires has joined Jiangsu Suning

Here's a look at some of the stars who made the decision to play in the Chinese Super League...

Jackson Martinez - Guangzhou Evergrande

Jackson Martinez, Atletico Madrid
Image: Jackson Martinez has moved to China from Atletico Madrid

Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande signed Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez for 42m euros (£31.8m).

The Colombian will join up with his new squad when they resume winter training in Dubai on February 9, after completing a medical.

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"We firmly believe that the addition of international football star Jackson Martinez will strengthen our attack, providing more exciting performances for everyone," the club said in a statement.

Gervinho - Hebei Fortune FC

Gervinho celebrates after finding the net against Fiorentina
Image: Gervinho has joined Hebei Fortune FC

The former Arsenal forward has signed for Hebei China Fortune FC after spending two-and-a-half years at AS Roma.

Gervinho scored 17 times in 71 Serie A appearances but has now decided to continue his career in China. Monaco winger Stephan El Shaarawy has completed a move to Roma and is set to replace the Ivory Coast international.

Hebei China were only formed in 2010, and have just been promoted to the Chinese Super League from the second division. Gervinho will play alongside former Wolves midfielder Nenad Milijas.

Paulinho - Guangzhou Evergrande

Paulinho (R) lifted the Chinese Super League title with Guangzhou Evergrande in his first season
Image: Paulinho (R) lifted the Chinese Super League title with Guangzhou Evergrande in his first season

In 2015, Paulinho left Tottenham after two seasons and moved to Guangzhou Evergrande for £10m, signing a four-year deal.

He was signed by former Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and is part of a side that have won the Chinese Super League for the last five years. Paulinho helped Guangzhou to their 2015 title, as well as the Asian Champions League.

Last year, Guangzhou reached the semi-finals of the Club World Cup with Paulinho in the side, losing to Barcelona 3-0. Before Scolari was in charge, Guangzhou had previously been managed by Fabio Cannavaro and Marcello Lippi.      

Demba Ba - Shanghai Shenhua

Demba Ba joined Shanghai Shenghua in June 2015
Image: Demba Ba joined Shanghai Shenghua in June 2015

Demba Ba joined Shanghai Shenhua last July alongside former Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko as Shanghai looked to attract the similar kind of global attention they received when Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka joined the club in 2013.

The former West Ham and Newcastle forward has already scored 12 goals in 16 appearances, including an incredible bicycle kick, and is currently preparing for his first full season at the club.

Tim Cahill and former Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin also play for the club.

Asamoah Gyan - Shanghai SIPG

Asamoah Gyan spent four years in Abu Dhabi playing for Al Ain after leaving Sunderland
Image: Asamoah Gyan now plays for Shanghai SIPG under head coach Sven Goran Eriksson

Asamoah Gyan moved from Abu Dhabi club Al Ain to Shanghai SIPG, the team coached by former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson, in July last year.

The former Sunderland striker is reportedly one of the 10 highest-paid players in the world. Shanghai SIPG finished runners-up in the league last season as they look for their first title in their 11-year history.

Tim Cahill - Shanghai Shenhua

Tim Cahill: Enjoying life in China
Image: Tim Cahill is enjoying life in China

Cahill joined Shanghai Shenhua at the start of 2015 after leaving MLS club New York Red Bulls, where he played for three years.

The former Millwall and Everton ace reached the Chinese Cup final in his opening season in China, only to lose to Jiangsu Sainty after extra time. The Australian international scored 12 goals in 32 appearances in his first season.

Cahill said once the season concluded that he has no plans to play in the Australian A-League after signing a new one-year deal with Shanghai. He told The Guardian when he joined: "I've done the Premier League, I've done America. New York was amazing for me ... [but] China is a growing market in football.

"You see in the [Asian Cup quarter-final] game that Australia played against China, millions of people watched it and I'm someone who is embracing the culture and a different aspect of life."

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