• Oscar, then of Chelsea, controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal.

Oscar, then of Chelsea, controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal. (Photo : Getty Images Sport)

Chinese football teams will only be allowed up to four overseas players each from the five previously allowed to cool the market for foreign football talent, the Chinese Football Association announced.

It was also stipulated that only three foreign players from the same team would be allowed to play at any one time.

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The new rules were announced a week before the Chinese Super League (CSL) transfer window opens and will take effect at the start of the 2017 season in March.

In the January-February transfer window, Chinese teams broke the Asian record for the most expensive signings three times in just 10 days. It still went higher when Brazil's Hulk, who was previously with Zenit St Petersburg, joined Shanghai SIPG club for $58.3 million in July. Unfortunately, Hulk was injured within 15 minutes while playing his first game in the CSL.

Oscar, who previously played for Chelsea, is the latest South American to shift from Europe to China. SIPG recently confirmed that it had inked Chelsea's Oscar for $73.7 million and allowed the country to break the Asian record five times in 2016.

Before the end of 2016, Argentine striker Carlos Tevez became the world's highest paid soccer player after inking a two-year deal worth $82 million with Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.

The expensive signings of foreign players show no sign of easing with Diego Costa being targetted by Tianjin Quanjian.

Football clubs in the CSL have spent over $400 million on domestic and foreign players in 2016 after President Xi Jinping announced his plan to turn the country into a football powerhouse.

The Chinese Football Association said that while the foreign players added to the CSL and made its games more enjoyable, their presence also created financial burdens for clubs and reduced opportunities for local players.

It added that the new rules would be good for the long-term development of every pro league team.

Furthermore, the $1.15 billion in overall spending this year "far exceeded the economic value" it brought to the league.