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Chelsea exploring transfer options, linked to Shakhtar forward

Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images

Not satisfied with the Juan Cuadrado rumour? Well here's something new, albeit (for me) a little less satisfactory. The Daily Mail have us linked with Shakhtar Donetsk's Douglas Costa, whom we've apparently been keeping tabs on since he was playing with Gremio in the Brasileiro. He'd probably be a depth purchase -- he's not good enough to unseat either Willian or Oscar in the regular lineup, but he'd be a reasonable option to replace, say, Mohamed Salah should he go out on loan.

Although the Mail have written that Costa the not-as-good is 'is regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe,' that line is ... more than a little embellished. He's a fine attacking midfielder (perhaps he's made big gains this year without anyone noticing?), but certainly not someone who'll catapult Chelsea to the next level, and £16 million -- which is the bid we've reportedly put in for the 24-year-old -- strikes me as too much for a relatively limited player who can barely be considered young anymore.

As a Plan C for depth if we do decide to sell André Schürrle and can't, for some reason, pick up Cuadrado, I guess this isn't the worst thing in the world. But it's not exactly a barnburner either.

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