Jackson Martinez
Jackson Martinez (left) scored just three goals for Atletico Madrid since joining from PortoGetty Images

Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande have broken the Asian transfer record to sign Colombia forward Jackson Martinez from Atletico Madrid for €42m (£31.8m).

The 29-year-old, who joined Atletico from Porto for €35m last summer, has signed a four-year deal with the Asian champions.

Martinez struggled to live up to his hefty price tag at the Vicente Calderon, scoring just three goals in 22 appearances in all competitions. He was linked with a January move to Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

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

Martinez's move is the most expensive transfer of all time involving an Asian club, eclipsing Chelsea midfielder Ramires's move to Jiangsu Suning for €33m on 27 January.

"It has been an honour for me to be a part of [Atletico], but I think the time has come to start another stage in my career," the Colombian said.

"We have talked a lot in the last days and we have agreed that this is the best for all of us.

"[I] thank my teammates, the coaching staff and the people working at the club for the trust they had in me and the effort they made so I could come here."

Diego Costa
Atletico are reportedly interested in bringing Chelsea's Diego Costa back to SpainGetty Images

The former Porto forward won one Portuguese league title during a three-year spell in the Primeira Liga, scoring 67 goals in 89 league appearances.

His last goal for Atletico came in a 2-1 La Liga win over Valencia back in October.

Spanish daily Marca reported that Atletico had earmarked Chelsea striker Diego Costa as the ideal replacement for Martinez and would try to lure the 27-year-old back to Madrid in the summer.

Costa made more than 100 appearances for Atletico and played a starring role in the club's 2013/14 La Liga title triumph before arriving at Stamford Bridge.

Guangzhou are coached by former Chelsea and Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari and are the reigning Asian champions.