Tianjin Quanjian failed with a move to sign Diego Costa from Chelsea in January
However, Tianjin have not lost their interest, and billionaire owner Shu Yuhui insists a deal is still in the pipeline to bring the Spanish international to the club.
‘I can only say that we are still working on the deal [to sign Costa]. And we have already made contacts with several players,’ he told Sina Sports.
‘We have high standards [in buying foreign players] and those players prefer top clubs such as Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. It’s safe to say that we have the same transfer targets as those illustrious clubs.
We may have to pay bigger price because our club are now competing with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.’
Costa’s form has noticeably dipped in 2017 since he was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, adding to the speculation that the Brazil-born forward is unsettled.
The 28-year-old has scored just three times in 12 appearances for Chelsea, who have also seen their lead at the top of the Premier League table cut to just four points.
Antonio Conte has reportedly started planning for life without Costa, with both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez thought to be on the Italian’s wishlist.