Even in a season of headline-grabbing moments and sensational storylines, Diego Costa outdoes all others.
As the joint-top goalscorer in the league, the Spaniard has arguably been the best in the Premier League to date. His blood-pumping intensity and dead-eye accuracy have catapulted Chelsea to poll position in the league, and has even helped them open up a seven-point lead over second-placed Tottenham.
And then the Chinese Super League comes calling. A £30 million-a-year contract has been tabled, and Costa wants out by the summer.
The news is certainly distressing for Chelsea fans as they face two grave uncertainties. Initially, how will the 28-year-old’s form be affected by such distractions, and how will he replaced beyond this season at Stamford Bridge. So-called super agent Jorge Mendes may have a solution to the latter quandary.
As reported in the Evening Standard, he has the clout to bring Alvaro Morata to Stamford Bridge in place of Costa should he leave, and such a move appears to make an abundance of sense.
The Spain international has plied his trade at Real Madrid since last year. However, understandably given the cluster of superstars at the club, he has struggled to establish himself in the team’s starting XI. Still just 24, undoubtedly the most successful point in his fledgling career came during his two-season stint at Juventus. Of course, during this period he played under the tutelage of one Antonio Conté.
A marriage with Morata may be the perfect act to follow a divorce from Costa, for all parties concerned. The Real Madrid striker is doing his own career little use on the bench in Madrid, and Conté appears to be the perfect coach to help him rediscover his goalscoring ways.
Colm Egan, Pundit Arena