Is it happening? It’s certainly starting to feel that way.
The Diego Costa to Tianjin Quanjian rumors have been exciting our olfactory nerves ever since January, wafting about the place sweetly or sourly, depending on your particular tastes. Tianjin’s chairman Shu Yuhui has not shied away from regular grandiose statements of intent with regards to major signings, and he kicked off this week’s rumor bonanza with a reminder that they are still working on a deal to acquire a world-class striker, though he did not mention any specific names.
But then, yesterday, Spain’s Cadena SER broke the story that it is indeed Costa who’s the unnamed striker in that deal, supposedly agreeing to a €30m annual wage packet. It should be noted that SER have broken this story at least once before, so it’s a bit tough to take them at their word immediately.
That said, there are now new quotes making the rounds from Shu Yuhui and he claims that they’re not only pursuing world-class strikers but have actually agreed terms with two-three targets. Presumably one of those is Costa.
“The only thing I can reveal right now is that we have agreed terms with two or three stars. The players have no problem with the deals and their clubs are also willing to let them leave.”
"The only issue that remains unresolved is reaching agreements with their respective clubs over the transfer fees."
But while Shu freely admitted that they’ve at least made contact with the likes of Costa, Cavani, Falcao, Aubameyang and Kalinic, and have agreed terms with at least one of them, he also adamant that he won’t pay (too far) over the odds for any of them.
“The player we buy should satisfy two requirements. First, he is suitable to the style of football we play; and second, he has the right attitude. However, if some [European] clubs are intent on taking advantage of us, we won’t allow ourselves to get ripped off. We won’t lose our mind.”
-Shu Yuhui; source: Tianjin Daily via Goal
Chelsea possibly set a €150m asking price on Costa, but according to SER the price is likely to be closer to €90m. Still a healthy sum, to be sure.