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Diego Costa: Chelsea want to sign player before the World Cup

Diego Costa

Chelsea are keen to complete the £32m signing of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa before the start of the World Cup next Thursday.

Chelsea have met the buyout clause in the 25-year-old’s contract but are understood to be frustrated at a lack of progress.

A club source said: “Chelsea look forward to entering into formal transfer documentation with Atletico Madrid as soon as possible so that the player can concentrate on the World Cup.”

Chelsea want to complete the deal over the weekend or very early next week, at the latest, to avoid the player facing distraction during the World Cup.

The source added: “Chelsea have made an offer to Atletico Madrid in compliance with the buyout terms in Diego Costa’s contract.

“We have been advised that the player has invoked a buyout clause and directed the club to accept Chelsea’s offer.”

Costa scored 36 goals in 52 games for Atletico last season as they won their first La Liga title since 1996 and reached the Champions League final.

The Brazil-born forward is in Spain’s World Cup squad and could feature in their opening game against the Netherlands on Friday 13 June.

Diego Costa factfile

Diego Costa
  • Born: 7 October 1988, Lagarto, Brazil
  • Clubs: Braga 2006, Penafiel 2006 (on loan), Atletico Madrid 2006-09, Braga 2007 (on loan), Celta Vigo 2007-08 (on loan), Albacete 2008-09 (on loan), Real Valladolid 2009-10, Atletico Madrird 2010-14, Rayo Vallecano 2012 (on loan)
  • League appearances for Atletico: 94
  • League goals for Atletico: 43
  • La Liga wins: 2013-14
  • Copa del Rey wins: 2012-13

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said in May that the addition of a “killer” strikerwould be a key priority during the summer.

The London club scored 71 goals in the Premier League this season, 31 fewer than champions Manchester City, who finished four points ahead of them.

Chelsea strikers Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba contributed a total of 19 of those in the league, with 33-year-old Eto’o, now a free agent, scoring nine of them.

“We have to try to win as a team, to improve as a team, but also add the attacking player with that killer instinct,” Mourinho said last month.

Mourinho will hope that Costa will go some way towards addressing that problem having enjoyed a prolific campaign with Atletico.

Costa scored 27 goals in La Liga and only finished third behind Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (31) and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (28) on the list of top goalscorers.

The striker also scored against Chelsea from the penalty spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League, one of his eight goals in the tournament, as Atletico came from behind to win 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Costa was born and raised in Brazil and made two friendly appearances for them last year before he became a naturalised Spaniard.

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