Tiago Mendes
Tiago Mendes of Atletico MadridGetty Images

Chinese property billionaire Wang Jianlin has purchased 20% of Atletico Madrid for €45m, the reigning La Liga champions confirmed.

Wang is head of China's largest property company Dalian Wanda. He also recently purchased US cinema chain AMC and British yacht maker Sunseeker.

According to Forbes magazine, the 60-year old is worth $13.2bn (£8.7bn).

Atletico Madrid have struggled to cope financially of late, despite the team's surprise league win last season, trumping favourites Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The club, which is controlled by the Gil family, has built up debts of €500m. Forbes valued Atletico at €283m, with revenues of €120m. The average salary for its players was only a third of Real's.

Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin said: "This is a major step for the club in its efforts to build a leading global brand that will provide the financial resources to remain competitive in Europe and provide riveting experiences for our fans."

In February of last year, Atletico unveiled a stadium-management deal with CenterplateISG for a new stadium with 20,000 more seats than its current venue and is expected to be ready for the 2016-17 season.

Wang, who has also funded football academies in China, was previously thought to be bidding for Southampton and Roma, but both rumors later turned out to be false.