Shanghai Shenhua have claimed they were in talks to sign Didier Drogba just a month after landing his Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka.
Drogba, who rejected a one-year contract extension at Stamford Bridge after demanding a two-year deal, has been linked with a move to China for some time.
Dalian Aerbin reportedly offered the 33-year-old wages of £200,000 a week but their Chinese Super League rivals now appear to be in pole position.
A Shenhua spokesman was quoted on Thursday as saying talks have been taking place, and Shenhua owner Zhu Jun cryptically spoke of the pursuit on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, saying: "It's like flirting with a girl. Perhaps she will resist you at first, but if you continue to ask her out, it always ends well. Never give up."
Board member Zhou Jun told Shanghai Daily: "Everything is going well so far, though there have been a few obstacles.
"It's like making a blockbuster film. When superstars like Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Zhou Xun have confirmed their participation, other actors and actress will be confident of the movie."
Anelka last month became one of the biggest names ever to move to Chinese football when he signed for Shenhua on a reported £200,000-a-week deal.
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has been hopeful of Drogba, who is currently on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast, seeing out the remainder of his contract.
He is currently free to open negotiations with rival clubs over a summer move but, should an offer for him be made before the transfer window closes, the Blues must decide whether to cash in.