Tianjin Quanjian are confident they will sign Diego Costa from Chelsea this summer, according to Sky sources.
The Chinese Super League side's billionaire owner, Shu Yuhui, has told media in the country he has verbally agreed deals with "two or three stars".
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But Tianjin released a statement on Thursday denying any discussions have yet taken place with Chelsea or Costa about signing the striker.
It read: "With regards to the current widespread rumours of Chelsea player Diego Costa joining Tianjin Quanjian, the club would like to make clear that no discussions have taken place regarding the transfer of Diego Costa."
Sky Sports News HQ understands Costa remains Tianjin's first-choice target after their previous attempts to lure the player to Asia failed at the start of the year.
Despite missing out then, they are willing to more than quadruple the Spain international's wages and make him the world's best-paid player.
The Chinese transfer window opens on 19 June and it is thought Tianjin would look to complete a deal for Costa then.
Now 28, the former Atletico Madrid forward has produced his best scoring return of his three campaigns at Stamford Bridge this season.
Although he trails Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane in the Premier League scorer charts, Costa's overall haul of 24 in all competitions eclipses previous totals of 21 and 16 goals.
The striker is contracted with Chelsea for another two years.