Four Chinese clubs to battle for Diego Costa this summer

The Blues striker remains in demand for a big money move despite reports that clubs in the CSL are going to have to curb their spending

 Chelsea’s Diego Costa remains a target for several Chinese Super League clubs after Tianjin Quanjian failed in their attempts to secure a January move for the striker, Goal understands.

Tianjin’s billionaire owner Shu Yuhui remains keen on Costa as they await the reopening of the Chinese Super League (CSL) transfer window on June 19. Tianjin originally made a ‘triple-your-money’ offer to Costa after meeting his agent Jorge Mendes in China, where Shu was presented with a signed Cristiano Ronaldo shirt.

Chelsea could have stood to earn over £70 million from the sale of their main striker but they were unwilling to negotiate for the Spain international amid their Premier League title challenge. There are hopes in China that officials at Stamford Bridge may soften their stance at the end of the season.

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Having scored 14 goals in the English top flight in the first half of the season, Costa has found the net just three times since the turn of the year, and admitted he hoped to rejoin Atletico Madrid before the start of this term.

However, there are three other clubs in China also aware of the possibility of securing the now out-of-form striker and have the financial clout to complete a move. Guangzhou Evergrande, Hebei China Fortune and Jiangsu Suning are ready to look to Costa to resolve their disappointing seasons so far.

Tianjin would consider discarding ex-Chelsea player Alexandre Pato to make room for Costa, as the 27-year-old has failed to impress since his move to the CSL.

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The Chinese Football Association announced plans in January to slow the rapid investment in the league, in favour of promoting youth players in the division.

The governing body lambasted the private owners of their newly super-rich clubs for their lavish spending but it is not expected to deter some from looking for more major transfers in the summer.

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