Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has dropped a clear hint that the club plan to sign a big-name striker during the summer transfer window.
Speaking at his news conference ahead of Monday's Premier League game against Manchester City, journalist Miguel Delaney quoted Mourinho as saying:
Mourinho on buying a striker. "Many people don't understand why we don't do [business] but, in the summer, you will understand."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 31, 2014
Chelsea have significantly strengthened their squad during the January transfer window with the triple signing of defender Kurt Zouma, winger Mohamed Salah and midfielder Nemanja Matic.
Should Chelsea have signed a striker in January?
However, the club's most pressing need was for a striker, something which hasn't been remedied.
Chelsea's desperate need for a world-class centre-forward was shown in the frustrating goalless draw against West Ham on Wednesday night, which saw the Blues miss the chance to overtake Arsenal and go second.
One target in which Mourinho had publicly spoken of a desire to sign was Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, although, per Ben Smith of BBC Sport, it appears the England international could now stay at Old Trafford.
Mourinho now has to turn his attention elsewhere, and another reported target is Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, as reported by The Times' reporter Oliver Kay:
Also on #CFC, working hard on summer deal to sign Diego Costa, as reported in Times 2 wks ago. Unclear if Courtois would be part of deal.— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) January 29, 2014
With 19 goals in 21 La Liga games this season, per ESPN FC, it is easy to see why Costa has caught Mourinho's eye.
Charlie Skillen of the Daily Mail Online claims that a swap deal had already been agreed that would bring Costa to Stamford Bridge and see Thibaut Courtois, who has been on loan at Atletico for three seasons, move in the other direction permanently.
Tall, athletic and strong, Costa fits the profile of the type of player Mourinho traditionally likes to lead his line and is at an age where he can do it over a long period—in the same way that Didier Drogba did.
His signing wouldn't be cheap, but he would give Chelsea the final piece in the jigsaw that they have been missing and could be key to them putting together a team that could properly challenge for the Premier League and the Champions League.