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Chelsea will have to shake piggy bank harder to land Diego Costa

| 14.03.2014

It’s no secret that Jose Mourinho’s main mission this summer is to add a world-class striker to the Chelsea ranks, with the latest reports confirming Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa tops the Stamford Bridge shopping list.

The news arrives just ahead of Chelsea’s televised Premier League clash against Aston Villa, where the Blues are priced at 1/2 to steal another three-point march on title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal, who play a day later.

However, if Chelsea are to snare their man then Roman Abramovich will have to delve deeper into his vault-like pockets than the £27m reported to be the Premier League club’s most recent valuation.

For starters, the Spanish side’s prize asset has a reported £32m release clause written into the contract extension he signed back in August at the Vicente Calderon.

Contracts may not mean a lot in football these days, but if Chelsea are planning on bringing the hottest striker in European football to west London this summer, then meeting the release clause looks like being their minimum potential layout.

It may be a case of once bitten, twice shy for Chelsea considering the £50m squandered on misfiring misfit, Fernando Torres, but it seems a little naive to think Atletico would except an amount south of his clause given the Blues’ riches.

At just 25-years-old and having returned an astonishing tally of 28 goals from 31 appearances this season for Atleti, Costa is the toast of the continent.

And given the scale of recent transactions the naturalised Spaniard will surely demand a fee well in excess of £30m.

Given Chelsea are guilty of raising the bar themselves by breaking the British transfer record for Torres three seasons ago, watching the likes of Gareth Bale go for £86m and Radamel Falcao for £50m, means Atleti will not be duped over Costa’s worth.

Meanwhile, Torres, the man Costa is most likely to replace if Mourinho gets his way, has potted along to the grand sum of nine from 29 appearances.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.