Chelsea's search for a top line striker may be over, months before the transfer window officially opens. Reports in the press suggest that a deal worth £50million has been cut with Champions League semi-final opponents Atletico Madrid to take star striker Diego Costa to Stamford Bridge on June 30.
the player was reported to have a 35million buyout clause in his contract, but in order to get the deal done, Chelsea appear to have agreed to match the fee paid to Liverpool for Fernando Torres in order to get everything sorted before other potentially interested parties can muddy the waters.
At this stage, it's not clear whether the deal is a straight cash transaction, or if an element of the 'value' involves a return to the Vicente Calderon for Torres. The hierarchy at Atletico, although always mindful of the financial imperatives, will know that after selling Radamel Falcao last summer, losing another top striker will hardly go down well with the fans. Bringing Torres back to his first club however may just assuage any fan revolt somewhat.
It's been an open secret that the Blues were looking for a striker to fill in the obvious gaps in this season's squad when an inefficiency in the front line has probably let them down badly. Mourinho has made little secrecy of his unhappiness of his front men, and will have been keen to see just this sort of deal completed.
If the rumour turns out to be true, Chelsea fans will look forward to next season with increased optimism. Mourinho's renowned ability to organise the defensive end of the squad has been put to good effect, but the lack of a sharp cutting edge upfront has been a major deficiency. If the signing of Costa goes through, it should solve that particular problem, and put Chelsea into a position to challenge for major honours with renewed vigour next season.
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