Shanghai Shenhua are confident a deal to sign Nicolas Anelka could be wrapped up as early as next week.
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas revealed last week that both Anelka and Alex were transfer listed at their own request, and as such were training away from the first-team.
Anelka is now being linked with a January move, and a number of English clubs have been linked - including most recently West Ham, managed by his former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce.
But a move abroad always appeared more likely and a switch to China appears to be the most lucrative option ahead of deals in America or the Middle East.
Shenhua's assistant spokesperson Ma Yue confirmed to the Shanghai Daily that talks with Anelka's brother, who acts as the player's agent, have been positive and an agreement is not too far away.
"It will be a three-year contract and will involve both football and commercial cooperation," Ma was quoted as saying.
Club chairman Zhu Jun added fuel to the rumour by posting a note on his blog hinting at Anelka's possible arrival before leaking the news to the local media.
"We started to talk about every detail from the first minute of the negotiations," he said.
"The whole contract is made up of details. It's comprehensive and complicated, involving the player's image and the commercial cooperation."
Anelka's move to Shenhua could also be smoothed over by the fact his compatriot and former Fulham boss Jean Tigana is expected to be unveiled as the Chinese team's new head coach.