Diego Costa’s recent admission that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte no longer wants him at the club caused a stir.
I wrote an article yesterday about how Everton’s Romelu Lukaku would likely be the Spaniard’s replacement.
It was a strange thing for Costa to do to let everybody know that he was no longer wanted at the English champions.
The statement may well be damaging to Chelsea’s hopes of landing a big fee, as interested parties now know the Blues want to sell the striker.
Maybe it was a deliberate tactic from the striker to force the club into selling him on the cheap.
AC Milan in talks to sign Costa
It didn’t take long before Italian giants AC Milan were holding talks with the striker over a move to Italy, according to Sky Sports. A much talked about return to Atletico Madrid seems unlikely, as the club from Spain’s capital are in the midst of a transfer ban, so the offer from Milan may not be the worst in the world.
The Italian giants have new ambitious Chinese owners and they look set to spend big this summer in order to strengthen their squad.
Signing Costa would be a big statement of intent from the fallen Italian giants. Formerly one of the leading teams in Europe, AC Milan have struggled to challenge at the top end of Serie A in recent years.
The deal with AC Milan looks far from a done deal, as Chinese clubs are still reported to be interested in signing the Spanish international.
AC Milan are only second favourites in the betting at odds of 5/4 behind any Chinese club to sign Costa in the summer transfer window. What’s more Torino striker Andrea Belotti is believed to be the Rossoneri’s top target this summer.
However, Torino are reported to have already rejected a bid of around £39million for the Italian international. The club from Turin are looking for closer to Belotti’s release clause, which is £87million.
It seems that Costa is the next on the Rossoneri’s viable transfer targets list. The Brazilian-born star is unlikely to commit quickly, with other options available to him.
Crazy as a box of frogs
On the pitch, Diego Costa is horrible and comes across as crazy as a box of frogs. The 28-year-old is quite simply a pest to opposition defenders. He will run all day and niggle away at opponents, often stamping all over the line, rather than just crossing it.
For all the qualities he brings to a team he can often be a liability as well. His temperament is questionable, to say the least. He has served a few retrospective bans for acts on the pitch, although he is generally quite subtle with his misdemeanours.
His temperamental nature was on display in the January incident, when he was reportedly involved in an altercation with Chelsea staff, including Blues boss Conte himself.
However, to get the best out of Diego Costa you almost have to accept his temperament nature and go with it.
Diego Costa is still a top player
Putting aside his crazy temperament, Diego Costa is still a top player. The 28-year-old was outstanding for Chelsea last season, scoring 20 goals and producing eight assists and helping the Blues to the Premier League title.
Chelsea will find it really hard to replace Costa. They may be looking to sign Lukaku, but for me, the Belgium international is a completely different player to Costa and still has a lot to prove at the highest level.
Any team would suffer from losing a player of Costa’s quality. I just have to wonder what effect his exit will have on the team for next season. It certainly is an interesting situation and one that is unlikely to be resolved in a simple manner.
How much will Chelsea miss Diego Costa next season?
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