Arsenal & United Dealt Blow As Mourinho Opens Talks Over €38m-Rated Hitman
Arsenal and Man Utd have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Diego Costa with Chelsea now considered as the firm favourites to sign the striker next summer.
With the January transfer window now open for business clubs will be working hard to try and strengthen their squad for the second half of the season, so we’ll keep you up-to-date with all the latest news, gossip and rumours. Today, Chelsea open talks over Diego Costa.
Arsenal and Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Diego Costa with the Times reporting that Chelsea are now considered as the firm favourites to sign the striker next summer.
Costa has become one of Europe’s most sought-after hitmen after enjoying a stunning season that’s seen him score 23 goals in just 22 appearances to help Atletico Madrid keep pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga, as well as firing them into the last 16 of the Champions League.
Understandably, his form has attracted interest from the Premier League with the Times claiming that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are among the clubs keen on luring him away from the Vicente Calderon.
However, the newspaper suggests that it’s the Blues who are now considered as the ‘firm favourite’s’ to land the prolific striker after supposedly opening talks about taking the 25-year-old to Stamford Bridge in the summer with a deal possibly including a player swap involving on loan goalkeeper Thibault Courtois making the move to Madrid on a permanent basis.
Courtois has enjoyed two-and-a-half years on loan in the Spanish capital and with Petr Cech still at the top of his game, Chelsea could see the 21-year-old stopper as expendable – particularly if he’s going to help them land Costa.
The report states that Jose Mourinho is hoping their close working relationship with Atletico, and the fact he shares an agent with Costa, will go strongly in their favour during negotiations.
Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero recently confirmed that Costa has a €38m (£31.5m) buy-out clause but was confident he would resist the temptation to jump ship and move to the Premier League.
However, it remains to be seen how the Brazilian-born striker will react should the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea or United trigger his release clause and there would be little Atletico could do to stop him leaving if one of the trio met the €38m fee – which is something of a bargain in today’s market for a player of Costa’s quality.
Arsenal proved in the summer with the signing of Mesut Ozil that they are now ready to compete for the elite players and they are believed to be on the look-out for a top quality striker to compete with Olivier Giroud, while United would love to land a marquee signing such as Costa to ease the pressure on David Moyes following a disappointing debut season at Old Trafford.
But it appears Chelsea are now leading the chase and with their current crop of strikers are struggling to find the target on a regular basis this season, Costa would form a devastating attack alongside Oscar and Eden Hazard if he does end up making the move to west London in the summer.
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