Chelsea Transfer News: Diego Costa Must Be Top Target Ahead of Edinson Cavani

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2014

Atletico's Diego Costa gestures during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Getafe and Atletico Madrid at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez  stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki

As fate would appear to have it, Chelsea will be making a major move to improve their strikeforce this summer, with Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani just two of the hitmen being associated with a move.

However, even for a club where money isn't necessarily the biggest obstacle in view, it's Atletico's in-form finisher in whom the Blues need to invest, with Spanish outlet AS (h/t's Wayne Veysey) quoting manager Diego Simeone as saying he might be helpless when it comes to whether his player is sold:

It will depend on [Costa] and what he thinks is the best for his future. I will support any decision he makes. It's natural that Chelsea are interested in him. That makes me happy because my aim and that of my coaching staff is to see our players improve.

We understand that Chelsea have huge financial power and, if he wants to live off football for the rest of his life, I will have no problem in him going. It was like Radamel Falcao, how could I tell him not to go to Monaco? Samuel Eto'o is getting older and Diego Costa could do his thing there but, for now, he is ours.

Veysey goes on to say that Jose Mourinho's side are hoping to make Costa's move official before the 2014 World Cup, where the Brazilian-born star is set to feature as a part of Vicente Del Bosque's Spain squad after switching citizenship.

This time 12 months ago, Cavani may have been held in higher regard than Costa after coming to the end of his last prolific season in Naples. Costa, on the other hand, often played second fiddle to Radamel Falcao before his move to Monaco.

Matt Dunham

However, the 2013-14 campaign has seen things alter drastically. While the Uruguayan has succumbed to playing something of a bit-part role at the Parc des Princes, living in the shadow of a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Costa has thrived in the absence of Falcao.

Of course, that's not to say Cavani isn't still a useful weapon in his own right, but for the money PSG would undoubtedly be demanding in order to facilitate his departure, Atletico are a more vulnerable-looking prospect. 

Earlier in April, the Mirror's Martin Lipton reported that a fee of £55 million—the same sum for which Cavani left Napoli—would still be required as PSG look to recoup their investment.

Cavani has had to settle for a place out wide for the majority of this term, but it still speaks highly of his ability that in 27 Ligue 1 appearances, five as substitute, the forward has netted 15 goals, per Squawka.

Costa, meanwhile, is in a far more reliable state, having started in 31 of his 32 La Liga appearances, scoring 27 goals in the process, per Squawka, a ratio of close to a goal every game. show just what kind of company Costa currently keeps in terms of score count, while adding just how crucial the South American has been to Atletico's points haul:

What's perhaps more impressive, however, is that the 25-year-old has also created 40 scoring opportunities for his Atleti teammates this season, despite the fact that provision and ammunition may not be his prerogative.

Right now, Chelsea are in need of something as close to a complete forward as they can get their hands on; it's the missing piece of their puzzle that will bring the talents of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Andre Schurrle and others into an entirely new spectrum of success.

Costa has shown that he can be just that. Strong and capable of holding a high line on his lonesome, yet agile and able to play in a tandem when needed—as has been shown alongside David Villa at times this term—he simply fits the bill in a way Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba haven't.

Cavani, while a most fearsome asset in his own right, doesn't boast an array of attributes quite as assorted, and he is a player more in need of things being shaped to fit him rather than him being able to mould around a team.

One might argue that the difference in standards between Spain and France's top flights makes it easier to net, but Cavani has still done well to adapt in his new surroundings, as shown by ESPN FC:

With the tens of millions it's likely to take in finalising either deal, Chelsea would be better off hunting the younger, more flexible Costa, who's had an extremely productive past year in his development and should be permitted to continue it in West London.