Diego Costa is expected to receive a transfer offer from Chelsea, who want to line up a summer move for the sought-after Atletico Madrid forward.
Costa has a £32 million release clause—according to Jack Wilson of the Daily Star—and is wanted by Jose Mourinho to bolster a Chelsea forward line that has struggled for goals this season:
Liverpool lined up Costa—who can choose to play international football for either Brazil or Spain—over the summer when they feared they could lose Luis Suarez.
But now Chelsea are in pole position to sign him.
Costa has a £32m release clause in his current contract that Jose Mourinho wants Roman Abramovich to pay.
BREAKING NEWS & OFFICIAL - FIFA have received from CBF an official note that Diego Costa is called up for Honduras and Chile games.— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) October 24, 2013
The news comes on the same day that Costa was reportedly called up by Brazil for international friendlies against Honduras and Chile.
UPDATE: Friday, Oct. 25, at 2:55 p.m. BST
From Joaquin Marota of AS:
FIFA has got in contact with this newspaper via email to declare that, as of midday on Friday, it has still not received a letter from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) confirming that Diego Costa has been called up to the national side for the upcoming friendlies with Chile and Honduras.
---End of Update---
Brazil are locked in a tug of war with Spain for the 25-year-old’s services, which remain up for grabs ahead of the World Cup.
Costa has previously played in two friendlies for Brazil, but that does not rubber-stamp his allegiance to the country. Only a competitive match can do that, per Tim Vickery of BBC Sport.
Brazil failed to build on Costa’s two substitute appearances back in March and they left him out of their squad for the Confederations Cup. It may prove a mistake.
The striker now has Spanish citizenship, per Henry Jackson of Goal.com, and is wanted by the reigning world champions ahead of the World Cup. Brazil’s reported move to call him up for their two forthcoming friendlies shows their determination to deny Spain of Costa’s services.
It is easy to see why the two international powers—as well as Chelsea—want Costa’s tremendous ability.
He has scored 10 times in nine league games for Atletico this season, per ESPN FC, and boasts everything a modern-day striker needs.
Who should Costa play for?
Blessed with deceptive pace, he brings others into play, scores important goals and has ample aerial ability. For Chelsea, he would be the ideal forward.
Wilson writes that a potential Chelsea move would not happen until the summer due to Atletico’s assault on La Liga and the Champions League.
By then, he is likely to have every top club interested in his services, particularly if he leads Spain or Brazil to World Cup glory.