During the summer of 2013, both Chelsea and Liverpool were linked to Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa ahead of his breakout season in Spain. While the striker had put up a goals/minutes ratio that was more than respectable over the past several seasons, hiding in the shadow of Falcao had allowed him to fly a bit under the radar.
As it turns out, Liverpool actually met his £21 million buyout clause that summer, which forced him to make a difficult decision between joining Brendan Rodgers' squad or extending his stay in La Liga with a pay raise and increased buyout. Fortunately for Chelsea, he chose the latter:
"I was close to leaving Atletico. Liverpool are a great team, but after fighting so hard and overcoming difficulties to get my place at Atletico, how could I leave?"
"I thought it was very important to keep growing with Atletico and to play there for many years."
Hilariously, 'many years' turned into just a single, very successful season with the Madrid side before Chelsea came calling the following summer. The decision to leave didn't seem quite as difficult at that point, did it, Diego?