Chelsea are ready to make a bid to sign Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke as Jose Mourinho seeks serious competition for Diego Costa, reports Goal.
Costa enjoyed a spectacular start to life at Stamford Bridge, scoring 15 Premier League goals by the time 2015 rolled around.
However, since then his form has dropped significantly and his total now stands at 19. That is still a good total for a player in his first season in the Premier League, but not as impressive as it promised to be at Christmas.
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He has also failed to score any goals in any other competition other than the league, leaving him short of a rather standard 20-goal haul.
Mourinho has relied heavily on Costa this season, continuing to play him ahead of Didier Drogba and Loic Remy whilst also struggling with a dodgy hamstring.
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Now the Chelsea boss wants to make sure he is not left with a stricken striker again and is ready to pump £30m into signing Belgium forward Benteke.
The 24-year-old has had a sensational second half of the season and has scored 11 goals in his last nine games in all competitions.
Regardless of whether Tim Sherwood keeps Villa in the top flight, they are likely to lose Benteke and will be ready to sell if Chelsea come calling with a £30m offer. Liverpool are also rumoured to be interested.
In other Chelsea-related news, Juan Cuadrado has been backed to succeed at Stamford Bridge by his Colombia team-mate Carlos Bacca.
The flying winger has struggled to settle since arriving from Fiorentina in January, but Bacca believes that Cuadrado will eventually come good.
"I know Cuadrado well as I see him in the national team," Bacca said on Wednesday.
"He's a great player and there's a reason Chelsea signed him which is one the best teams in the world.
"But we know that when you change leagues from Italy to England they are different leagues that have different ways of playing.
"I think that he signed for a team that has a very demanding manager and he also has to adapt to the league and the team with a squad that was already gelled."
More other news
This one is BIG. A report in The Sun claims that Chelsea are mulling over whether Gareth Bale would be a worthwhile signing.
The indecision comes after Bale's terrible Champions League performance against Juventus.
Despite his poor form, Real Madrid have slapped an £80m price tag on his head, which Mourinho does not believe represents value for money.
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