It’s worth remembering that transfer rumours are to be taken with a pinch of salt. That doesn’t mean that every report you may read is false – indeed just because a deal doesn’t happen, that doesn’t mean that it was ‘made up’ – but it’s always worth noting the original source.
And that’s why The Sunday Times’ piece on Diego Costa got us thinking. In case you haven’t read it. It alleges that at least two major teams in China’s Super League are willing to pay an Asian record £72.1m for the Spaniard and double his after tax earnings of £4m-a-year. Although the Far East may not immediately be appealing, the wages and Costa’s own frustrations in west London leave the door tantalisingly ajar…
This will be a summer of much change at Chelsea, and such a massive deal makes sense for the club on so many levels…
Is Costa worth the fuss?
From Chelsea’s point of view it’s hard to argue anything but no. Okay, he is the Blues’ highest scorer in the league with 11, but his on-field mannerisms do little to endear the club to a wider audience, while for a large chunk of this season under Jose Mourinho he was forced to a bench role. However, his appeal in China can be seen, with Costa a big name player, one of the leading goal-getter in European football over the last three seasons and a ‘character’ that will attract media attention for an emerging league.
Lots of replacements for Chelsea
Just a quick search for strikers linked with Chelsea in recent weeks brings up names such as Gonzalo Higuain, Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku, and as the numbers (crunched by Squawka) show, Costa trails the lot:
For the figure Chinese sides are willing to pay for Costa, at least one of these players could be lured from their club, with Chelsea potentially also making a profit along the way – especially with soon-to-be-free-agent ‘Ibra’
Yes or no?
So long as Costa is open to the idea of a massive payday in China – which is feasible as he’s soon to turn 28 – Chelsea should actively be looking to pursue this transfer. After all, although Costa is a great striker on his day, his baggage, the new Antonio Conte era and the sheer disappointment of this season are all factors with considering.