Chelsea Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 24, 2014

Spain's Diego Costa attends a training session at he Atletico Paranaense training center in Curitiba, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Spain will play in group B of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Jose Mourinho's forward line has long been an area of intense focus at Stamford Bridge, for better or worse, but this summer is expected to transform the makeup of those leading Chelsea's attack.

Diego Costa is expected to be the major new arrival this summer, the man Mourinho trusts to spearhead Chelsea's assault on the Premier League title.

However, while the deal remains very much in the pipeline, Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo has revealed Chelsea are yet to pay a penny toward Costa's signature, per Metro"Chelsea have made contact but we haven’t received any money or anything else yet. Until we do, he remains an Atletico player."

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 18: David Silva (2nd L) and Diego Costa of Spain (R) wait to kickoff after allowing Chile's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Chile at Maracana on June 18, 2014 in Rio de Janeir
David Ramos/Getty Images

Of any team with the funds necessary to sanction a quick purchase, one would think Chelsea to be as prompt as any other clubs in terms of meeting payments, but Costa will remain a Rojiblanco until the cheque has been cashed it seems.

COBHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 02:  Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho talks to the press at the Chelsea Training Ground on May 2, 2014 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Earlier this month, Chelsea activated the £32 million release clause in Costa's contract, with the La Liga champion quoted by the Express' James Dickenson confirming the exit last week: "My future is at Chelsea. Atletico Madrid has been my home and I am very grateful to this club."

Costa was far from his attacking best at the 2014 World Cup as Spain rode to a shock group-stage exit, with's Greg Stobart jesting whether Mourinho may want to back out of the deal altogether:

It's highly likely that Chelsea's failure to pay is little more than a delay, but Atleti would undoubtedly be more than happy to hang on to their 2013-14 top scorer should the move collapse in what would be quite bizarre circumstances.

Should the transfer materialise, however, it looks all the more likely that Costa will be duelling with Romelu Lukaku for a place in the starting XI, following the latest reports of what 2014-15 holds for the youngster.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 17:  Romelu Lukaku of Belgium challenges Madjid Bougherra of Algeria during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Belgium and Algeria at Estadio Mineirao on June 17, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by P
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Chelsea do not want to farm Lukaku out on loan for a third successive season, according to the player's agent, who adds that the striker may look to sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

The Express' Ben Jefferson quotes Oscar Darmiani Jr. saying:

Chelsea doesn't want to loan him out. He has two years left on his contract and we would normally look at extending it shortly.

Did I see him after the match against Russia? Yeah, he was pretty quiet but he is a player who doesn't have anything to prove. Of course, the World Cup is the World Cup. I'm sure he'll bounce back in the next game.

Lukaku has also been a disappointment at this summer's World Cup, and while Belgium have qualified for the competition's round of 16, his individual displays have been uninspired to say the least.

The Press Association's Martyn Ziegler and Peter Hall of Sky Sports have each offered criticism of the forward, who has otherwise enjoyed a good buildup to the Brazil tournament while on loan at Everton:

Darmiani doesn't mention anything about a permanent sale, though, and while a temporary departure may not be on the table, Chelsea may still look to sell if a party is willing to stump up the cash.

As things stand, it looks as though Lukaku, Costa, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba will be the four vying for Mourinho's favour next season, although a long summer full of transfer rumours remains.