Manchester United and Chelsea's hopes of signing Diego Costa for his current buyout clause appear to have suffered a blow, with talkSPORT reporting that the player has entered talks over a new contract with Atletico Madrid.
Furthermore, those reports suggest that the La Liga title chasers - who have been so impressive this season under Diego Simeone - are keen to insert a bigger release clause into such a deal, likely to be in excess of an eye-watering £40 million.
25-year-old Costa, a Brazilian-born striker who is eligible to represent Spain on the international stage, has been simply sensational for Atletico so far this season, bolstering their somewhat surprising title push with 21 goals in 25 La Liga appearances.
Such staggeringly prolific form has seen the former Valladolid man linked with a move away from the Vicente Calderon, with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea having been linked with the £32m-rated Costa in recent weeks.
Indeed, the latest reports earlier this week suggested that Premier League duo Chelsea and Manchester United - as well as rivals Arsenal - would be willing to pay his existing release clause - however, it remains to be seen if they would still be so willing if it was made much higher during contract talks.
Chelsea's need for a new striker is quite clear for all to see, with their existing trio of strikers contributing minimally to the club's title push.
Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres have performed adequately enough at Stamford Bridge this season, but the former will surely be departing the club in the summer along with outcast Demba Ba.
Manchester United, meanwhile, were recently buoyed by the news that talismanic frontman Wayne Rooney had agreed to extend his contract to remain at Old Trafford.
However, with uncertainty surrounding the future of Dutch international Robin van Persie - Arsenal are supposedly interested in taking him back to the Emirates Stadium - Manchester United could well be in the market for a new striker during the summer.
Should either Chelsea or Manchester United pay an inflated release clause for Costa? Have your say below...
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