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Does MLS need to worry about wild Chinese spending spree?

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The Chinese Super League is spending a ridiculous amount of money on talented players. Could it affect MLS and Atlanta United?

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There's a soccer revolution underway in an unexpected place. The Chinese Super League and a few of its richest clubs have decided to adopt a new and bold transfer strategy. That strategy? Spend a boatload of cash. They are overpaying market value for good players in an attempt to bolster their profile around the world.

So, how's it working out for them?

Here's a list of notable players they've successfully lured to their league recently:

Fredy Guarin (From Inter Milan to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua for Undisclosed Fee)

Asamoah Gyan (From Al Ain to Shanghai SIPG for Undisclosed Fee)

Paulinho (From Tottenham Hotspur to Guangzhou Evergrande for $21.7 Million)

Gervinho (From Roma to Hebei China Fortune for $27.9 Million)

Ramires (From Chelsea to Jiangsu Suning for $50.9 Million)

Jackson Martinez (From Atletico Madrid to Guangzhou Evergrande for $65.4 Million)

Alex Teixeira (From Shaktar Donetsk to Jiangsu Suning for $77.8 Million)

Transfer fees via Fox Sports Australia

As you can see, they are collecting a respectable list of players and that's not even including the extensive list of absurd transfer offers they've made in recent weeks. They are trying to buy their way to becoming one of the best leagues in the world. There's no estimate to how deep their pockets are and what limits they've set for themselves -- if they've set any at all. It seems as if they're focused on any and every high profile transfer target that hits the market.

Former New York Red Bulls player Tim Cahill currently plays for Shanghai Shenhua and predicts that the league will soon break the $100 Million transfer fee barrier soon.

"They've got the power and when they want something, they get it and when they don't want something they get rid of it. It's pretty much like a revolving door, you see a lot of players coming in and a lot of players going."

"It's crazy to see but this is only going to get worse. This is going to be massive, soon they'll break the $100 million mark easily."

-Tim Cahill; Source: Fox Sports Australia

It's quite clear they are determined to make their presence known within the world's transfer market. This seems like it would be a problem for Major League Soccer, a league known for targeting high profile players usually during the latter stages of their careers. Is this new financial power a threat to MLS's transfer strategy? The answer isn't cut and dry.

There's no doubt that the Chinese Super League overpaying for talent could affect the players MLS can bring in. They simply cannot compete with the type of money that the owners in China can spend on players. Thankfully for MLS, the trend so far has been for the CSL to target players in their prime. Almost all of their acquisitions have been of players below the age of 30. This is why MLS can breathe a small sigh of relief.

Aside from the coup of Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus and Giovani Dos Santos from Villarreal, the vast majority of Designated Player signings by MLS have been of players past their prime. The Frank Lampards, Andrea Pirlos, and Steven Gerrards of the world. While all are big names, it's clear they aren't the same players they once were.

The Chinese Super League are playing the high stakes game of competing with the biggest clubs in the world for the best players in the world. MLS just isn't in the same competitive bracket as them right now. The CSL seem more interested in stealing a player from Liverpool, Chelsea, PSG, or Real Madrid than they do taking an aging veteran from MLS.

We're still in the infancy of the CSL's bold transfer dealings. There's just no predicting how their strategy could transform over the next few transfer windows. As long as they are successfully signing players in their prime, MLS should feel safe. If they start to lose out on these talented players in their prime, they could fall down a rung in the competitive transfer bracket and see themselves head to head with MLS.

It's likely we've seen the last of the Giovinco-type signings in MLS for a while, but the regular status quo DP signings shouldn't be affected by the CSL's spending spree.