Chelsea Transfer News: Latest on Diego Costa, Lazar Markovic, Eliaquim Mangala

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2014

Atletico's Diego Costa gestures, during a training session ahead of Saturday's Champions League final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, in Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, May 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

With a festival of summer World Cup football ahead, Jose Mourinho will be looking to bring world-class talent to his squad at Stamford Bridge ahead of next season.

Chelsea came so close to glory during the 2013-14 campaign with an impressive run in the Champions League and a Premier League campaign that only faltered in the final weeks.

Here we take a look at three players recently linked with the Blues and the progress on their chances of joining the west London club.


Diego Costa

Francisco Seco/Associated Press

After his heartbreak in the Champions League final, it seems Diego Costa's move to Stamford Bridge could hinge on the future of a Manchester City player.

John Cross of the Mirror reports Atletico Madrid want City striker Alvaro Negredo to join them as Costa's replacement.

Negredo played 32 times for City last year in the Premier League, scoring nine times, per Squawka, but was used considerably less as the season went on by the English champions—even with Sergio Aguero consistently injured. 

With David Villa also thought to be leaving Atletico, per Cross, Diego Simeone will need a striker of pedigree, and Negredo has an excellent track record in La Liga. 

Costa has been one of the premier strikers in the world this year and has recorded stunning figures.

Sid Lowe of The Guardian recently assessed Costa and gave his opinion on the player:

This season, Costa became the Champions League's best debutant with seven goals in his first six games. His goal against Getafe was his 26th in the league; on Friday night another one made it 27. That has not been thanks to the occasional hot streak, either: those goals have come in 22 different games. No player in Spain has been so vital this season.

Costa is the player Mourinho needs at Chelsea, and the club have to secure him as fast as they can.

The lack of a world-class striker cost Chelsea on two separate fronts last season; who knows what the Blues would have achieved if they had a player like Costa.


Lazar Markovic

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

It appears Chelsea have lost out to Liverpool in the race for the signature of Lazar Markovic.

Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star writes that the Anfield club will beat Mourinho in the battle for the £30 million-rated attacker as Brendan Rodgers looks to build a squad fit for the demands of Champions League football.

The 20-year-old Benfica star only joined the Portuguese giants last year and has featured 39 times for the club in the domestic league and European competition, scoring six times, per

The player would have been a useful addition to the Chelsea squad, adding a youthful option to Mourinho's attack.

However, Liverpool's needs are greater in the wide positions as they look to create a viable supporting cast for Luis Suarez in what will be a hugely significant campaign for the Reds, next season.


Eliaquim Mangala

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

Porto ace Eliaquim Mangala has put his club future on hold until after the World Cup, frustrating a host of big clubs, including Chelsea.

Turrell of the Daily Star reports the French international wishes to concentrate on his country's campaign this summer, with Mangala saying to press in France:

"My manager told me nothing. On a transfer, we will see after the World Cup. I go on holiday after the World Cup, then start working at FC Porto and see what will turn up. The market at the moment, I do not care."

Mangala is one of the hottest defensive talents in Europe at present, and he will not be short of offers in the coming months.

David Luiz's impending departure will leave a hole in the Blues' back line, and Mangala would be the perfect signing to fill the void.

Mourinho needs to secure signings before the World Cup starts, as good performances tend to increase players' values after a solid showing at the tournament.

Signing both Costa and Mangala would make Chelsea close to being favourites for the Premier League and would give Mourinho the depth for a full-on Champions League assault. 



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