Chelsea move makes sense for £32m Manchester United target

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In a January transfer window sure to be packed full of rumours concerning many of football's biggest names and most influential clubs, the situation regarding Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa appears one of the most intriguing.

The 25-year-old, who was born in Brazil but recently elected to represent Spain at international level, has been simply terrific for Diego Simeone's outfit so far this season.

The striker, who returned for a second spell at the Vicente Calderon in 2010 following a short stint with Real Valladolid, has been an absolute menace for opposition defences - netting 19 goals in just 18 La Liga games.

Such stellar form has inevitably seen his name being mentioned in all manner of transfer speculation, with Costa reportedly becoming a transfer target for Premier League trio Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

If we are to assume, for one moment, that such rumours are indeed true, then it would appear that the feisty frontman may have some serious thinking to do considering his future.

This is particularly pertinent when you consider that Costa reportedly has a release clause of £32 million, meaning any decision on his future is likely to largely rest with the player himself.

Personally, I believe that Costa should remain exactly where he is for the rest of the 2013/14 campaign before angling for a move to Chelsea when the transfer window opens once again in the summer.

Under the tutelage of the charismatic Simeone, Atletico appear to have become a real force in La Liga. At the time of writing, Los Rojiblancos sit second in the standings, behind Gerardo Martino's Barcelona only by virtue of a slightly inferior goal difference.

With Atletico, who have not won a top-flight title since 1996, potentially on the cusp of something truly special, Costa would perhaps regret not seeing the season through.

After all, it is not like he is rapidly approaching the twilight of his career and needs to immediately seek a move before it's too late.

If he keeps up the sort of form that he has shown during the first half of the 2013/14 season, you have to imagine that the same teams will again be coveting his signature prior to or indeed after the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

Providing this is the case, then I believe a move to Stamford Bridge would be the best option. Chelsea, who remain a decent bet for the Premier League title despite a somewhat pedestrian opening to Jose Mourinho's second spell in West London, are currently experiencing somewhat of a striker crisis with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o hardly firing on all cylinders.

While Mourinho is probably keen to address this potentially damaging issue this month, it seems somewhat unlikely that the quality of player Chelsea ultimately require will be available this month - perfectly highlighted by their recent failed pursuit of Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Chelsea are surely most likely to sign a stop-gap to last them until the end of the season, before beginning a serious pursuit for a new striker at the end of the season. Costa would fit that bill perfectly and would instantly command a starting berth.

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