With Chelsea’s strikers struggling to hit the net on a consistent basis, the west London side have been constantly linked with some of the world’s top frontmen over the last 12 months.
The latest in-form hitman to be speculated as a possible target for Jose Mourinho’s men is Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa. The Brazil-born forward has been in exhilarating form for the capital city side this season, netting 19 goals in La Liga – more than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Costa’s goalscoring return has spearheaded the Vicente Calderon side’s ascent to the top echelons of La Liga, with Atleti putting a title challenge in for the first time in 15 years.
The Atletico marksman has reportedly been identified as the man to end Chelsea’s striking woes, with the Blues set to try to tempt Diego Simeone to part company with his star striker.
However, the Spanish side are reluctant to sell their prize asset after seeing the likes of Sergio Aguero, Fernando Torres and Radamel Falcao depart over the years. However, a report in Spain suggests a winning arrangement for both sides.
With Thibaut Courtois on loan at Atletico for the third consecutive season from Chelsea, a wrangle for the goalkeeper’s services is set to ensue this summer. The Premier League side have identified the giant Belgian as the long-term successor for Petr Cech, but Atleti are keen to keep him in Spain. The longer the stopper stays at the Vicente Calderon, the more removed he feels from west London and it appears that at the moment Courtois would prefer to remain in Madrid.
El Confidencial today have suggested that a potential swap deal of sorts could well be in the offing. Despite Costa’s unbelievable scoring form for Atletico this season, Diego Simeone is believed to be willing to allow the forward to complete a move to Stamford Bridge – but only if Courtois goes the other way.
Atletico have become renowned for losing and then replacing top strikers, and after weighed up the situation believe that Courtois can have a substantial long-term influence for the club. With the stopper only 21, the club could have one of the top goalkeepers in their team for well over a decade.
The Belgian is so highly rated, Atletico would be willing to sell Costa to Chelsea to secure his services according to the report. Over the course of the last 30 months, Atleti fans have watched Courtois develop from an outstanding prospect into one of the world’s top goalkeepers – and Simeone is now determined to hold onto the stopper.
With Atletico fighting for domestic honours and playing in the Champions League, they have the financial capabilities and prestige to attract someone of Courtois’ abilities on a permanent basis. Chelsea want Costa and are willing to break the bank to land him. Could a swap deal be in the offing?