Atletico Madrid director Andrea Berta has reportedly flown into London for transfer talks with Chelsea over deals to sign attackers Diego Costa and Pedro Rodriguez. Berta may use misfiring summer signing Jackson Martinez as a "make-weight" in the transfer.
Spanish site Fichajes (h/t Bruce Archer of the Daily Express) have revealed Berta's visit. He wants to take advantage of Costa's lukewarm second season in west London: "Costa's future was also in doubt earlier in the season after an apparent fall-out with Jose Mourinho. However, after [Mourinho's] sacking in December, his form has improved."
It's understandable Atleti would want Costa back. He helped the club capture the Spanish first division title in the 2013/14 season. During the campaign, Costa netted 27 times, according to WhoScored.com.
As for Pedro, he hasn't made the grade in England's top flight since joining Chelsea in a £21 million deal late in last summer's transfer window. Now reports are even suggesting the former Barcelona man will be back in La Liga next season.
Tony Banks of the Daily Express has stated Pedro is ready to move on: "The former Barcelona star has not had a successful time in the Premier League and it is understood both sides are willing for the deal to be cut short if a buyer can be found."
Alistair Tweedale of the Daily Telegraph recently described how a player at his best running between the lines has proved a bad fit for Chelsea's slower build-up play:
He does not thrive most when he has a defender squared up and one-on-one but instead when able to use his pace and clever movement to run on to passes played in behind a full-back.
There was always going to be less opportunity for that at Chelsea – or any club, for that matter, after Barcelona – but the extent to which he has had to adapt in an underperforming team has been vast.
But a move to Atletico would revive Pedro's career. Manager Diego Simeone has built his current team around a fluid wide forward: Frenchman Antoine Griezmann.
Madrid have the players, particularly creative ace Koke, to free Pedro's exceptional movement and direct pace behind defences. It's what Chelsea should be doing with the Spain international.
Yet while the Blues have failed to take advantage of Pedro's skills, Atleti have also misused Martinez. The Colombian centre-forward has scored just three times for his new club, per ESPN FC.
Despite his failures, though, Madrid still seem keen to keep Martinez in the fold. The club reportedly rebuffed a recent £23 million bid from Tottenham Hotspur, according to Spanish publication Marca (h/t talkSPORT).
Martinez isn't the type of striker who thrives in a fluid brand of play. He needs a specific type of service, namely plenty of crosses to take advantage of his natural target-man skills. Martinez would find that service in the Premier League.
This is an intriguing deal for Chelsea to consider. Martinez may be better suited to English football than Pedro and Costa.
The latter has improved since Guus Hiddink's arrival as manager, but given his history of disciplinary issues, fitness problems and inconsistent form, cashing in and earning an obvious replacement would make a lot of sense.
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