New Chinese Super League rules stopped the nation from acquiring four of the biggest names in the football world.
[ MORE: Costa trains on his own ]
And Tianjin Quanjian owner Shu Yuhui says it had Falcao and Benfica forward Raul Jimenez signed and sealed before the new rules were announced. The club already has Korean midfielder Kwon Kyung-won, Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel, and Brazil’s Geuvânio on the books.
But the new rules, which will limit the amount of foreign players on a team to three, hampered his hopes. From the BBC:
But Chinese clubs will only be able to field three foreign players per game when the new season starts.
“This situation has brought a change to our signing plans,” said Shu.
“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.
So clearly Costa’s “back injury” seems more likely to be the burden of financial desires on his shoulders. That said, MLS commissioner Don Garber will crack a wry smile at the new rules.