Tianjin Quanjian coy on making another bid for Chelsea's Diego Costa
Tianjin Quanjian owner Shu Yuhui has not ruled out making another bid to sign Diego Costa or other big foreign stars after the club's attempts to take the Chelsea striker to the Chinese Super League failed earlier this year.
China's transfer window reopens for a month from June 19 to July 14 and, in a wide-ranging interview with Chinese portal sina.com on Thursday, Shu said he planned to target additional high-profile players for his club.
According to the Daily Mail, Costa remains a target for Tianjin, who want to complete a deal for the Spain international this summer. Asked about the club's interest in Costa, Shu replied: "We are working on bringing in more big-name players. We expect the best.
"However, the best players want to go to clubs such as Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. Our targeted players are also being chased by these clubs, so we may need to pay more. We are in competition with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid for transfers, so let's wait until June and then we will see."
Tianjin were linked with a host of star names earlier this year as coach Fabio Cannavaro sought to bolster his squad after leading the team to the second division title and promotion to the Chinese Super League.
The club managed to lure Belgium international Axel Witsel and former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato to China, although the latter has struggled since making the move, scoring once in his first five games.
Shu, however, backed the Brazilian to come good and stressed the club had not set any targets for Pato to achieve.
"I have never directly communicated with him," Shu said. "But if we do, it would mean that he must have a serious problem. I have told our captain, Zhang Lu, to pass on to Pato that it is not a problem for him to not score for a couple of games. As long as he is trying, I believe there will be goals.
"I also told Cannavaro not to stress Pato out, don't challenge his self-esteem. Don't communicate deeply with him too much. Too much talking will only bring pressure. I am happy to read in the media that Pato is enjoying riding bicycles and having some fun with his teammates. I am happy he is relaxed. This is an important beginning to a successful journey here.
"We haven't set a target for Pato. Actually we brought him in as a winger, but now we're using him as a centre-forward, which was not his initial position. So it's not his fault. It is normal that he is not scoring because he is not in a familiar position. So we don't have a target for him."
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch