Italian outlets including Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Belgium international Nainggolan would be offered a €12m-per-year contract.
However, the Chinese football federation’s “luxury tax” — which virtually doubles the price of foreign players in deals worth more than £5.2m — means a loan move with an option for a permanent end-of-season transfer could be an option.
On Monday, Italian news agency Ansa said Roma had denied official contact between the two clubs.
“We haven’t received a formal offer and it’s already Jan. 15,” it quoted a club official as saying.
“Any deal can be opened if there is a significant offer, but at the same time, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a high-profile departure during this transfer window.
“It would be less surprising if Emerson left, rather than Nainggolan.”
On Monday night, a statement on the club’s official website denied that Ansa’s information had come from club officials “competent in transfer affairs,” adding that it had never been policy to comment on rumours.
Nainggolan, who is of Indonesian descent, would be able to play in the Asian Champions League without influencing the maximum of three foreign players fielded.