Diego Costa's buyout clause may yet prove to be a bit of a sticky wicket

Fernando Torres, Master, Diego Costa, Learner - David Ramos

Chelsea seem reluctant to pay the buyout clause, while Atlético Madrid may be angling to get something else in return as well.

World Cup or not, the Diego Costa deal has looked to be a foregone conclusion for some time now.  Yet, it still has not happened in any sort of official or even semi-official sense.  David Luiz has been sold, Cesc Fabregas has been bought, but Diego Costa remains stuck in limbo.  Come back and we'll be young men together again!

So what's the hold up?  I have a feeling it's got something to do with our reluctance to pay the buyout clause, which may be £32m on paper, but would turn out to be much more than that in practice thanks to Spanish tax laws.  For example, here's Atlético's president placing, to me quite oddly and specifically, extra emphasis on the clause.

"We don't know anything about Costa, all we know is that Chelsea have made contact but we haven't received any money or anything else yet,''

"Until we receive the money from his buy-out clause, he remains an Atletico player.''

-Enrique Cerezo; source: ESPN

Meanwhile, sources in Spain, such as AS are also playing around with the release clause and bringing other players into it as well because the one thing this deal definitely needs are more complications.  AS claim that Atlético are basically holding Diego Costa (and his release clause) as ransom for Romelu Lukaku going the other way on loan (i.e. let the Belgian go and we'll give you Costa without having to pay all those annoying taxes).  Which might seem reasonable, except for the part where Lukaku's "representative" just claimed that the Complete Striker will not be loaned out again.  Then again, I've never heard of that "representative" before (Oscar Darmiani Jr?) and was under the impression that Mino Raiola (or Christophe Henrotay?) is Lukaku's agent.

In any case, here's a giant pot of crap for all of us to take a turn at stirring.  At some point, we might get something edible out of it.  Otherwise it'll just boil over and we'll never be able to shake the stink.

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