Chelsea have launched a £16 million bid for Douglas Costa, having been left unwilling to meet the asking price for top target Juan Cuadrado.
According to the Daily Mail the Blues have moved to their second-choice in Costa, who has been on the radar at Stamford Bridge for a number of years. A former teammate of Chelsea ace Willian, the Brazilian midfielder has a good reputation around Europe, and Jose Mourinho is now on the lookout for such players in a bid to cover for the potential exits of Mohamed Salah and Andre Schurrle.
The initial plan for the Blues this transfer window was to complete the capture of the £26 million-rated Cuadrado, who was apparently at Anfield to watch the first-leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.
However, with Fiorentina digging their heels in, and not prepared to let their star player go without a fight, Chelsea are unwilling to engage in a lengthy pursuit, and as such have turned to alternative options.
Though it will disappoint fans of the west London club to miss out on Cuadrado - a man who impressed at the Brazil World Cup with Colombia - his replacement promises just as much excitement, and can be acquired for a lesser fee.
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It’s thought £16 million has been placed on the table by Chelsea as they seek to navigate the first obstacle during negotiations, but whether or not that will be enough remains to be seen.
Costa or Cuadrado
His current club, Shakhtar Donetsk, are known for being tough negotiators, and will certainly look to get the maximum fee possible if they are to let yet another bright talent leave. The departure of Willian in 2013 earned them £32 million, so the idea of them seeking a similar figure shouldn’t be ruled out entirely.
Of course the idea of a late deal for Cuadrado can’t be pushed completely out of the frame, with his agent set to fly to London today in a bid to work out some sort of agreement. It’s believed Chelsea are willing to meet his release-clause, but only if they can pay the final £6 million in bonuses rather than as part of the up-front fee.