Costa’s head turned by China, Chelsea might let him go

Tianjin Quanjian owner Shu Yuhui has revealed that Chelsea are willing to let Diego Costa leave in the summer, reports The Mirror.

What’s the latest?

The owner of the Chinese Super League club has confirmed that talks were held with Costa’s agent Jorge Mendes regarding a big-money transfer.

The Mirror claims that the Spain international has been offered a staggering £570,000-a-week pay packet to jet over to the Far East.

Following news of the club’s interest, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte dropped Costa from his matchday squad for last weekend’s 3-0 win over Leicester City.

Since then, the striker has been training alone at the club’s Cobham base and it is not yet known when or if he will be welcomed back into the fold.

Interestingly, Shu has suggested that the Blues might not be desperate to keep hold of their striker after he claimed that the forward could be made available in the summer.

He is quoted by The Mirror  as saying:

“I made an appointment with Mendes and he came to my hometown to visit me. At that time, we were interested in signing Costa.

“PSG told us [Edinson] Cavani would only be allowed to leave in June, even though the player himself was willing to join us.

“The same can be said for Costa because Chelsea would only let him leave in June. However, the new season of CSL will almost reach the halfway stage in June, we can’t wait so long.”

Judging by those quotes, the Chinese club may give up on their pursuit of Costa if they cannot clinch a deal this month.

On the other hand, this could force the player’s camp to push for a move if he is set on playing in the lucrative league.

What would a transfer do for Costa’s career?

The general feeling is that footballers who opt to join the Chinese revolution are mainly going for the huge financial incentives.

Of course, it is impossible to know if that is the driving force for most high-profile names that have made the switch, but the question has been raised.

The Chinese Super League was only founded 13 years ago, so it does not have the same pedigree as the elite levels in England and around Europe.

With Costa in the form that he is in (joint Premier League top scorer with 14 goals), it would be strange for him to join a division that does not possess the same level of competitiveness.

At the age of 28, the striker still has plenty of years left in him, so to move to China now when he is capable of winning prestigious trophies could be a backward step in his career.

On the flip side, he could be involved in shaping a league that could end up being highly competitive in the future.