For a while there in January, it seemed that Chelsea were ready to splash the cash on Shakhtar Donetsk's Douglas Costa. And it wasn't just idle tabloid speculation, there were real quotes from the real player about real things! A few weeks ago, Costa again confirmed that there was indeed very real interest at the time from both sides.
"Yes, I had a contact [with Chelsea] and the chance to work with a coach like Jose Mourinho always motivates a player. I am very grateful for the kindness he showed with me. He is a very smart coach and who won [titles] wherever he has gone."
-Douglas Costa; source: Goal
With Shakhtar holding firm on their asking price, Chelsea's bid of around €20m proved unsuccessful even after the player personally pleaded his case with the owners. Meanwhile, we signed Juan Cuadrado. But it would seem that the 24-year-old attacking midfielder is not giving up on his Premier League dream.
"I'd be really interested in moving to Chelsea - not only because everything Willian tells me about the club, but because I think that I'd be able to achieve everything I want having someone like Jose Mourinho by my side."
"Since I left Brazil, I have worked with a marvellous coach [Mircea Lucescu] and got an idea of how much influence such a good professional can have in your football. Now I think it's time to try a new philosophy and I'm sure that Mourinho's is the best around He's always fighting for trophies."
"Besides that, I'd have the chance to play in the Premier League, the best league in the world. What really impresses me is that you never know which team will win - that's a factor that always keeps athletes motivated."
-Douglas Costa; source: FourFourTwo
Moving to Chelsea would probably also spare him of 7-0 spankings by Bayern Munich.
When Costa's name came up in January, the reaction was lukewarm at best. Perhaps cowed a bit by the lack of any real, tangible return-on-investment from the moneys spent on Willian, the majority were hesitant about the idea of spending upwards of €30m on another Eastern European import. That being said, Douglas Costa has been on the radar of several big teams since his arrival from Brazil in 2009, and even now the likes of PSG and Barcelona and Manchester United are rumored to be after him.
He claims his buyout clause is €50m, which obviously no team will ever meet. It's up to the clubs to negotiate, and on January's evidence, Shakhtar certainly will want to ensure proper compensation, if we are to try to dip back into that well.