LONDON - Diego Costa is closing in on a move to China that will see him become the best-paid player in world football.
Tianjin Quanjian believe they have an agreement in principle to complete a £75 million deal for the Chelsea forward this summer, having failed with an attempted move in January.
Tianjin, who are managed by Fabio Cannavaro, are now confident of sealing the signing in the coming weeks.
If, as expected, the switch is ratified, Costa will become the highest-paid player on the planet - earning £620 000 per week after tax.
Photos emerged last week of Costa meeting with super-agent Jorge Mendes, at which Tianjin officials were said to be present.
Even though Tianjin Quanjian distanced themselves from the proposed move on Thursday night, as long as there are no late hitches the Spain striker seems certain to sign.
Costa’s future at Stamford Bridge has been in doubt since January, when the club turned down Tianjin’s approach.
The former Atletico Madrid striker also had a bust-up with boss Antonio Conte amid concerns over fitness.
Conte will use the money from Costa’s sale to bolster his squad.
Former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, now at Everton, is top of the list while the Blues are also chasing Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk. The pair are likely to cost a combined total in excess of £100m.