Tianjin Quanjian’s bid to sign Diego Costa from
Chelsea has been scuppered by new rules in the
Chinese Super League, says club owner Shu
Shu claims Tianjin had lined up moves for Spain
international Costa, 28, and fellow forwards
Karim Benzema, Radamel Falcao and Edinson
But Chinese clubs will only be able to field three
foreign players per game when the new season
“This situation has brought a change to our
signing plans,” said Shu.
Clubs could previously select four foreign
players of any nationality and one Asian player
in a matchday squad.
From the start of the new season, in March, they
must name two Chinese players aged under 23
in their matchday squads, with at least one in
the starting XI.
Shu said Tianjin would have made a “big
investment” this year had the previous rule
remained in place.
Speaking to Tianjin TV, Shu said contracts had
been agreed with Monaco striker Falcao, 30, and
Benfica forward Raul Jimenez, 25, before
Monday’s rule change.
Costa had been heavily linked with a move to
China that would be worth £30m a year, though
Chelsea had no intention of selling him.
“The online reports about Costa – it’s true we’d
like him, and we made an offer for Cavani and
were deep in negotiations,” said Shu, in
comments reported by the South China Morning
Billionaire Shu added Costa and Paris St-
Germain forward Cavani, 29, could have signed
but their clubs did not want them to leave during
the European season.
“We couldn’t afford to wait half a season,” he
“We continue to wait and suffer, but at the end of
the day we’ll get someone. We have targeted a
lot of strikers, and made an offer for Benzema,
but with this policy change, we are very
Tianjin were promoted to the Super League last
season and have Italian World Cup winner Fabio
Cannavaro as their manager.
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso forward Bertrand
Traore expects other African players to follow
Nigeria captain Jon Mikel Obi in the Chinese