Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian deny agreeing a £76m deal for Chelsea forward Diego Costa

The Chinese side said they are eager to avoid any 'overpriced signings'

Luke Brown
Tuesday 23 May 2017 15:57
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Tianjin Quanjian appear to have abandoned their plans to sign Costa
Tianjin Quanjian appear to have abandoned their plans to sign Costa

Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian have distanced themselves from any possible transfer for Chelsea striker Diego Costa by releasing a statement in which they claim to be eager to avoid “overpriced signings”.

The Chinese side have been persistently linked with a move for Costa since the January transfer window, with Antonio Conte even briefly dropping the player in the new year because of concerns his head had been turned.

In the end the Spain international decided to stay at Stamford Bridge, helping to win the club their second Premier League title in three seasons.

That hasn’t stopped the speculation that he could be tempted into quitting the club this summer, but it would appear there is little chance of him ending up at Tianjin Quanjian after the statement they published to their club website on Tuesday.

“For the past six months, our club have not involved in any form of communication and negotiation with Diego Costa nor his representatives,” the statement read.

“Our club will draw up a rational transfer plan as an aim to improve the spectator experience of the Chinese Super League and meet its sustainability demands.

“We won’t take part in any unhealthy competition, thus preventing all overpriced signings.”

Tianjin have ended their interest in Costa (Getty)

Chinese Super League rules dictate that a club can only play three non-Chinese players at any one time, and Tianjin already have four international players in their squad.

As well as the on-loan Brazilian striker Júnior Moraes, Tianjin also have his compatriot Geuvânio and the former Milan and Chelsea striker Alexandre Pato in their squad.

Witsel is the Chinese side's biggest star

Belgian international Axel Witsel, who played for both Benfica and Zenit Saint-Petersburg and was repeatedly linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur before moving to China, is their fifth international player.

Tianjin Quanjian are managed by the 2006 Ballon d’Or winner Fabio Cannavaro, who has also had spells managing fellow Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande as well as Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr FC.

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