Cape Town - CSL outfit Tianjin Quanjian have denied widespread speculation that they have agreed a deal to sign Chelsea frontman Diego Costa.
Reports in both Spain and the UK this week suggested that Tianjin were ready to meet Chelsea’s £75million asking price for Costa and make him the highest-paid footballer in the world, with a £650 000 a week contract.
Tianjin were in discussions to sign Costa during the January transfer window and have indicated that they want to revive their interest during the summer.
But in a statement, Tianjin insisted they are yet to hold talks with Costa after reports that they had met with the 28-year-old in London last week.
"Regarding the widespread rumour that Chelsea FC's Diego Costa is close to joining Tianjin Quanjian FC, our club want to make clear that at this point, we have not been communicating with Costa regarding the transfer," the statement read.
Tianjin’s words are unlikely to halt the speculation over Costa’s future.
Owner and president Shu Yuhui declared earlier this week that the club were confident of signing a “world class striker”.
He said: "We have three candidates now. It won't be long before we announce who to sign.
"Our team is working very hard on the negotiation. Tianjin fans, please trust us. Like I promised, he will be a world-class player for sure."