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have been told to forget about trying to use any of their players as
bargaining tools to sign Diego Costa this summer.
The Atlético Madrid striker has emerged as a leading target for Jose Mourinho,
with the Chelsea manager desperate to strengthen his forward options.
Chelsea have players that they could potentially sell to Atlético. Thibaut
Courtois, the highly rated goalkeeper, is already on loan at the Spanish
club, Romelu Lukaku’s future once his loan spell at Everton ends in the
summer is unclear and Fernando Torres could be made available.
But Atlético insist they can hang on to Costa and have warned Mourinho that he
would waste his time if he tried to land the 25-year-old by offering any one
of those three players.
There is a £32 million buy-out clause in Costa’s contract, but Atlético
president Enrique Cerezo said: “I do not think Diego Costa will leave us at
the end of the coming year. Unquestionably, we do not want to sell him or
use him as a bargaining chip for another player.
“Atlético is a company which, for its proper functioning, must sell each year.
However, we believe in this case we can keep our players at least one more
On Courtois, Cerezo said: “He has a contract with us until the end of season.
As everyone knows, Courtois belongs to Chelsea and he signed for five years
with them and has been with us for three.”
Despite being born in Brazil, Costa has chosen to play for Spain. “It has been
an important decision for him,” Cerezo said. “He likes Spain, he lives here
and he considers it a better option to be part of the current world
champions, so if he does play he will do great.”
Costa has scored 27 goals in 35 games in all competitions this season for
Atletico, who are just three points behind La Liga leaders Real
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