Chelsea have added fuel to the fire surrounding a potential Diego Costa move, and specified the fee they would need to receive in order to allow the Spaniard depart for China.
Despite repeatedly insinuating that they would not be willing to entertain an offer from the Chinese Super League, the Sunday Times understands that the club would part with his services for the right price. And that price is an eye-watering £130 million.
Even after a weekend which saw Costa notch up yet another goal in the blue of Chelsea, speculation hasn’t gone away surrounding his rumoured intention of heading to the Far East in the summer. The Pensioners appear to have warmed to the idea of parting ways with the striker given the amount of money that could be available for the transfer.
As is often the worry in transfers of this scale, Chelsea’s immediate concern would be how they can replace the scoring prowess and fiery intensity of Costa. Clearly, should a world record transfer fee be in question, the club feel that not only could he be replaced, but he could even be bettered.
The Blues’ weekend win against Hull put them eight points clear at the summit of the Premier League. Such a position wouldn’t have been possible without the irrepressible Costa, who has been in mesmeric form. His stunning ability to combine raw aggression with the subtleties of a striker have seen him score goals on an industrial scale.
All this meant it was hardly surprising when Tianjin Quanjian bid £86 million for him, which certainly grabbed Costa’s attention. It is widely believed that he hasn’t settled in particularly well in England. As evidenced by his press conferences, he has struggled to learn English and hasn’t settled into the English way of life.
Such struggles make it difficult to imagine that he would enjoy life in China, but he would clearly be willing to put up with such hardships if the price is right.
Colm Egan, Pundit Arena