Chelsea could be without the services of striker Diego Costa for the 2014/15 season, with reports suggesting that Atletico are set to ask the player to delay his move to Stamford Bridge until next summer.
This is according to The Daily Mirror, who claim that Chelsea were confident of completing deal to bring Costa to the Premier League in the near-future, but Atletico boss Diego Simeone has now supposedly asked the club's board not to sell him so the passionate Argentine can continue to build a formidable squad.
Instead, such reports suggest that Atletico Madrid will ask Costa - who demonstrated his talent during Chelsea's defeat to Simeone's side in the semi-finals of the Champions League last week - to stay put at the Vicente Calderon for one more year with the promise that he will be able to leave the club in 2015.
Chelsea's position on a potential delay of this kind is not entirely clear, yet one must assume that they are unlikely to be happy with the prospect of having to wait a year before signing Costa.
A lack of potency from his strikeforce has been a constant issue for Jose Mourinho all season, with Chelsea badly needing to upgrade the inadequate trio of Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres.
While there is certainly no shortage of other superstar striker targets that could be within Chelsea's price range, few have demonstrated the same sort of form that has made Costa a household name - not to mention a full Spanish international - for an Atletico side that could feasibly be celebrating an unlikely La Liga/Champions League double later this month.
Costa - believed to have a release clause worth £32 million - has notched 27 goals in 34 league appearances this season - not a bad record at all for a player who was initially deemed surplus to requirements at Atletico and was sold to Real Valladolid before returning to the club in 2010.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms