Simeone admits Atletico striker Costa can leave for Chelsea if that is what he wants

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has offered Chelsea a boost in their pursuit of striker Diego Costa by admitting that he would be powerless to stop the player leaving if that is what he wants to do, according to The Daily Star.

Costa had been considered a primary target for Arsenal during the last two transfer windows, but Chelsea have also been considered long-term admirers, and manager Jose Mourinho is thought to have been impressed by Costa’s goalscoring exploits this season.

The 25-year-old has scored 26 goals in 31 outings this season, and with Chelsea’s forwards struggling at times this season the Portuguese manager is believed to want reinforcements in the summer, with Costa topping the bill.

When questioned about the future of the Spanish international – he also earned two caps for Brazil before declaring his allegiance to the Europeans – Simeone said: “It depends on him and what he believes is best for his future. I will support any decision.

“It is normal that Chelsea are interested in him. They have good economic potential. [Samuel] Eto’o is getting older and Diego Costa can do his work, but right now he’s ours.”

Chelsea take on Atletico in the Champions League semi-finals, and so Mourinho may use these games to personally scout the striker, who will be fit to play after suffering a nasty gash during the club’s recent game against Getafe.

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