Chelsea will have to wait for at least another year before they can sign Atletico Madrid hitman Diego Costa, says their Sporting Director, reports Dermot Corrigan for ESPN.
Atletico Madrid sporting director Andrea Berta has said the club should be able to keep Diego Costa and other sought-after stars for at least another year despite their perilous financial situation.
The Brazilian-born Spanish international has been in fine form, which has helped Atletico Madrid to joint top of La Liga with Barcelona. Corrigan says that Chelsea have been keen to bring the striker to London in a £40 million move this summer.
According to Oliver Kay and George Caulkin in The Times (subscription required), Chelsea are set to use on-loan goalkeeper Thibault Courtois in any move for the Atletico hitman.
Mourinho has already stated that he will not be buying any strikers this transfer window, says the Daily Mirror’s David Anderson, and will have to rely on Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba and a briefly resurgent Fernando Torres.
After his failure to sign Wayne Rooney this summer, Mourinho will be looking to add more quality this summer and may return for a bid for the England international reports ESPN.
But Rooney has injury problems, and United will not let him leave for cheap—and that to an immediate rival.
Chelsea’s striking problems have been well publicised this season with Mourinho acknowledging that his strikers haven’t come up with the goods. After the defeat to Stoke in December, Mourinho said, per the Guardian’s Sachin Nakrani:
If you tell me [Sergio] Agüero has scored 10 or 12 goals, [Wayne] Rooney eight or 10, [Oliver] Giroud eight or 10, [Daniel] Sturridge eight or 10, [Luis] Suárez 10 or 12, and ask if I would like my strikers to score eight, 10, 12 goals, then yes, I would. If they had we would be top of the league. That's the reality.
According to the BBC, Mourinho's side have scored the fewest goals among the Premier League's top four. Manchester City have scored 59 goals in the Premier League and 99 goals overall this season, counting on the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo.
In comparison, Mourinho’s strikers have only contributed 20% of Chelsea's goals this season—the lowest offered by strikers in the Premier League, per the BBC.
Chelsea have relied on the individual brilliance of Eden Hazard, who has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, ESPN stats show. Hazard's contribution goes unnoticed compared to a striker like Olivier Giroud, who has himself scored the same amount, per ESPN stats.
Spanish daily Marca reported that Costa has been voted the "best player in La Liga" according to a poll on its website, and the stats prove that. Costa received 53.8% (8,006 readers) of votes, followed by FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann.
Costa has scored 23 goals in 25 games in all competitions this season, ESPN stats show, with a record 19 goals in 19 league games. "Diego Costa is averaging a goal a game (one every 84 minutes, to be precise), something only bettered by Cristiano Ronaldo", says Marca.
Chelsea manager Mourinho has complained throughout the season about his team lacking in firepower, and Costa would be a world class addition to the Chelsea team that Mourinho says is in "transition", per the BBC.
We are making a transition between the Chelsea of the last decade and Chelsea of the next decade. We want stability and not to lose our winning DNA, so we are doing both things at the same time, but we will try to fight for the title until the end.
With Berte admitting that Atletico "must sell every year" because of financial constraints, per Corrigan, Chelsea would be wise to wait until the summer to make a bid for Costa.
The January market is great for selling clubs because they know there is a need for their players.
Despite Chelsea needing a striker, it would be more beneficial to wait until the summer and assess Atletico's financial situation which gives them more bargaining power.
If Chelsea are, as Kay and Caulkin claim, setting up a deal for the summer, then they will most likely beat interest from other clubs wanting the striker's signature.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned that Costa would actually cost £145 million, reports the Metro, a fee that would put Arsenal off. Then there is Liverpool, who Charles Perrin of the Express reports, nearly signed Costa last summer.