According to Neil Ashton of The Daily Mail, Chelsea are preparing to make Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa into their new first choice center forward. While nothing other than the article's title suggests that Chelsea and Atletico are deep into negotiations, Ashton has managed to break Chelsea news accurately in the past, and is at least worthy of mentioning because of that.
Ashton's report indicates that a deal could wind up costing the Blues as much as £40 million, which seems ridiculous at first glance, as his buyout clause is smaller than that figure. It's not uncommon for clubs to negotiate a fee larger than the buyout, however, as doing so makes the selling club a larger profit, while saving the buying club a small fortune in taxes required to buy out the contract.
The Mail also indicates that Atletico would be interested in keeping Thibaut Courtois, though I'm not sure just what motivation the Blues would have to include him in any deal. The paper also goes on to pour a bit of cold water on the idea of using Fernando Torres as a makeweight, as there's little reason for the Spanish side to drop their asking price for a 30-year old player on massive wages.
Whether or not there's anything more than speculation behind this particular report is something that we just don't know, but Costa makes an awful lot of sense for a Chelsea squad without too many massive holes left to fill. He'll certainly be worth paying attention to as the season winds down.
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