Grounded: Clampdown by central government on big-ticket transfers spoils the party for European stars like Chelsea's Diego Costa. Photo: AFP

China’s clampdown on big-spending football clubs has scuppered a bid by Tianjin to buy Diego Costa and a host of other Europe-based stars, its chairman said.

Tianjin had Chelsea striker Costa, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao at Monaco and Raul Jimenez at Benfica in their sights until authorities imposed limits on foreign players and wages, Shu Yuhui told Tianjin Sports TV. Tianjin may have to get rid of its foreign star Luis Fabiano, Shu was cited by Sina Sports as saying.