Chelsea's pursuit of multiple Atletico Madrid players, including Diego Costa, may rest on the Spanish club's ability to rescue Roberto Soldado from Tottenham.
The Blues are linked with a triple whammy of transfers by the Times, reported by Neil Henderson of the BBC:
Although Mauricio Pochettino's appointment as Spurs boss may see Soldado given another chance at the club following his nightmare debut season in the Premier League, the former Valencia man's future could have a significant impact on Chelsea's ability to lure Atletico talent away from the Vicente Calderon.
ESPN says Costa's £32 million move to Stamford Bridge is "close to completion," via the Times. A £51 million deal including Costa, Filipe Luis and Tiago is touted, though Simeone can ill afford to let three key players leave without finding their replacements.
Atletico recently announced the signing of Angel Correa from San Lorenzo, per the club's official website, but the youngster's arrival won't be enough to satisfy a crowd who watched their team win La Liga and reach the Champions League final this season. With Costa likely to leave, someone of Soldado's experience is needed.
Dominic Fifield of the Guardian believes Chelsea have "resumed" talks with Luis, who represents a perfect replacement for the departing Ashley Cole. Signing Tiago on a free transfer could also help "smooth the adjustment" of Costa, suggesting the English club are set to become a thorn in Atletico's side throughout the upcoming transfer window.
Tancredi Palmeri of beINsports suggests that Tiago will be at Chelsea for the long run upon his return:
Atletico have always dealt well with losing big stars, but after a tremendously successful 2013-14 season, they need to carefully go about their business. Players such as Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero and Radamel Falcao have been replaced with real quality in recent years, but Simeone has a major task on his hands if he has to replace three integral components of his squad.
Expectations are at an all-time high for Atletico. Much like Borussia Dortmund's ascension, their every result and dealing will be scrutinised with greater intensity. A sudden loss of three experienced players could have a major effect on the team as a whole, particularly if Thibaut Courtois follows the trio back to Stamford Bridge permanently now that his loan spell is complete.
If Mourinho wishes to sign Costa, Luis and Tiago, he may have to wait until Simeone has gone about his own transfer activity. Atletico would be subject to inflated fees if they sold all three without first purchasing replacements, ushering a sense of desperation over the squad.
Chelsea may need to bide their time and monitor proceedings in Madrid without putting too much pressure on before launching an all-out assault on Mourinho's targets. Perhaps ironically, Soldado's potential move could turn out to be his most significant impact on the Premier League to date.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!