Chelsea up interest in Diego Costa

Chelsea are said to have stepped up their interest in Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa and will make a £40m approach in the summer, ESPN has reported.

Scouts from the Premier League club watched Atletico beat Granada 1-0 on Wednesday, with Costa scoring. The Brazil-born Spain international’s goal put Atletico three points clear at the top of the table after Real Madrid lost to Sevilla.

Costa is expected to be part of the Spain squad at the World Cup having made his debut for La Roja in the recent friendly win over Italy. Costa had previously played twice for Brazil but as his appearances came in friendlies, he was able to switch allegiance. His first Brazil appearance also came against the Azzurri.

It’s said Jose Mourinho tried to sign Costa in January but Costa declined to leave Atletico mid-season, either for Chelsea or Arsenal, who were also interested. Had he moved in the winter transfer window Costa would have cost £30m; the price tag is expected to rise to £40m in the summer.

Chelsea face losing Demba Ba, Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torres in the summer with Ba speaking publically about wanting to leave, Eto’o’s contract expiring and Torres a target for Inter. A return to Atletico has also been mooted for Torres, possibly in part-exchange for Costa.

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