Atletico Madrid’s recent sale of Jackson Martinez will reportedly fund a summer pursuit of Chelsea striker Diego Costa.
According to Luis Aznar of Marca, the money recouped from a deal with Guangzhou Evergrande for the Colombian is around the €42 million (£32 million) mark, with the striker having only signed for €35 million (£26.5 million) last summer.
Already it seems as though the club are plotting on how to spend the money, with Aznar saying a reunion with Costa is a “dream” for the club.
It’d be an extremely popular deal for all at the Vicente Calderon. After all, the forward’s final season at Atletico was one to remember:
Costa embodied the Atletico Madrid team assembled by manager Diego Simeone. Costa helped the team to a surprise league title and the final of the Champions League too.
His physical style of play was on show again with the Blues last season, as his attributes helped Jose Mourinho’s side to Premier League glory. However, this term, as Chelsea struggled so did Costa, with the forward himself admitting he was overweight when the campaign kicked off, per Dominic Fifield of the Guardian.
However, since Mourinho has been dismissed and Guus Hiddink has taken on the job at Stamford Bridge, the striker seems to have rediscovered some spark, per WhoScored.com:
Diego Costa: Has been directly involved in 9 goals (6 goals, 3 assists) in his last 7 competitive appearances https://t.co/TD4PNHiSxo1/31/2016, 4:18:31 PM
A move back to the Spanish capital may well appeal to Costa. While he is appreciated by the Chelsea fans, at Atletico he is loved for his showings in the 2013-14 term and that kind of adulation is surely something he would love to savour again. His influence could see Atletico competing to win the top honours in the game once again too.
After all, as a whole, Simeone has a better squad of players to call upon than when the side won the league title; the prospect of Costa linking up with Antoine Griezmann at the point of the attack is a tantalising one too.
As Bleacher Report’s Rik Sharma noted recently, with Martinez struggling, Griezmann has been carrying this Atletico attack:
Rik Sharma @riksharma_
Griezmann has more goals (18) than Fernando Torres, Jackson Martinez, YF Carrasco, Oliver Torres, Vietto and Angel Correa between them1/21/2016, 1:23:42 PM
Of course, Chelsea will have a massive say in whether Costa does leave the club. Hiddink is currently in charge and getting the best from the forward, but a new manager in the summer may want a different kind of player to lead the attack.
Bleacher Report’s Chelsea correspondent Garry Hayes feels as though the 27-year-old still has plenty to offer at Stamford Bridge:
Garry Hayes @garryhayes
Costa deserves that goal today. Worked tirelessly of the ball. Love his celebration too. Bit of passion. #CFC1/16/2016, 4:20:33 PM
Returning to Atletico would be an easy option for the striker. It’s a club he’s already enjoyed success with and knows well; he’d be hailed as a returning hero, would score goals and challenge for trophies too.
However, staying at Chelsea and in the Premier League, where he still has plenty to prove, is the best course of action for now.