Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has claimed that he knows of offers that have been made for his services and that he is not yet sure what his future holds for next season.
Costa, who scored a penalty in Atletico’s 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday to take them through to the Champions League final, has been strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge for some time. His latest strike was the 36th goal of an incredible campaign for the Brazilian-born 25-year-old who made his debut for Spain earlier this year. Although stating that he is happy to remain with a club that could complete the league and Champions League double this season, Costa would not rule out taking up a chance presented by one of his suitors.
“I feel good at Atletico, I am happy in Madrid," he told Sky Sports Italia. "We will see what happens, there are offers but it is too early yet to talk. Now I am just thinking about the end of the season, I want to win the Champions League and La Liga.”
Atletico manager Diego Simeone has previously said that he would not stand in Costa’s way if he had the opportunity to earn far greater money elsewhere -- something he would doubtless do were he to join Chelsea. However, sporting director Jose Luis Caminero claims that he is very much making plans for next season based on Costa still being at the Vicente Calderon.
“We have renewed almost everyone, including Diego Costa [on a deal through to 2018],” he told Movistar, reports Sky Sports.
“So our mind is set on keeping that block [of players] and slowly bringing some more players in that can go with this project. So we want all our great players, Diego Costa included, to continue here. And next season, at the moment, is planned with him.”
If latest rumors are to be believed, Costa may not be the only striker in the Champions League final at whom Chelsea are taking a close look. The Daily Mail has claimed that Real Madrid are prepared to sell Karim Benzema for the right price this summer and that Chelsea are one of four clubs interested.
Madrid are said to be seeking £40 million for the France international in order to fund a transfer for a new front man. Manchester United, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are also believed to be interested.
Stamford Bridge would appear an unlikely destination for Benzema, however, given that Jose Mourinho wasn’t always the most complimentary of the 26-year-old during his time in charge at the Bernabeu. By the end of his reign in Madrid, Mourinho’s relationship is believed to have broken down with many in his squad.
Chelsea’s striking department is set to get a major overhaul this summer with the futures of Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba all in doubt. There has also been much talk about what next season holds for Romelu Lukaku. The 20-year-old has scored 13 Premier League goals on loan at Everton this season but it is far from sure whether he features in Mourinho’s plans.
Everton are unlikely to be able to fund a move for the Belgium international, with Champions League qualification looking unlikely, although Tottenham have also been linked. According to the London Evening Standard, Lukaku could be used as a bargaining chip in Chelsea’s efforts to sign Tottenham midfielder Paulinho.
The Brazil international was widely linked with Chelsea before moving to White Hart Lane for a £17 million last summer. Citing stories in Brazil, the Evening Standard reports that Milan and Real Madrid hold an interest but that Chelsea are favorites and could be helped by Tottenham’s interest in Lukaku. Paulinho will play a key role for Brazil at the world Cup but his first season in England has been hampered by the upheaval and certainty at Tottenham.