Diego Costa was in fantastic form for Chelsea last season as his 20 league goals fired the Blues to the Premier League title, however it could have been Liverpool who reaped the rewards of the Spain international's tenacity.
Costa moved to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid last summer after the club met the £32 million buy-out clause in his contract, but it has been revealed Liverpool were the first club to meet the clause.
In his new book 'Diego Costa: The Art of War' Spanish writer Fran Guillen revealed how Jose Mourinho convinced Costa to shun the Merseyside club and join him at Chelsea.
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Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool originally made the first move in the summer of 2013, triggering a smaller release clause of £17m.
However in excerpts of the book revealed in the London Evening Standard, Guillen revealed how with careful planning and the promise of more money the Brazilian born striker was convinced his future lay in London and not Merseyside.
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He wrote: "Jose Mourinho, recently returned to Chelsea, had also identified Costa as a primary target, a Didier Drogba-style centre-forward around whom he could forge a new winning machine.
"The Portuguese coach had watched Costa since he first arrived at Braga, and had felt the force of the striker during his breakout season close-up as manager of Real Madrid. However, Mourinho had yet to persuade the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, to accelerate his rebuilding plans,
"If Costa could not be signed now, a strategy was needed to ensure he was delayed, and not diverted. Chelsea and Mourinho made their case to Costa and Atletico: turn down Liverpool now and we will sign you – for more money – in 12 months
“Costa was lined up for summer 2014, in negotiations aimed at making all parties happy for the season ahead. On August 14, the club renewed Costa’s contract, doubling the salary and extending until June 2018. The release clause also went up, and the understanding was that the new season would be Costa’s last for Los Colchoneros."
The news will come as a blow to Liverpool fans who watched their side fall away last season following the sale of Suarez. The striker crisis that saw their front men score just eight goals between them, with the injured Daniel Sturridge claiming half, could have been avoided.
It proved to be an inspired piece of business from Mourinho, as Costa's goals were vital in helping Chelsea lift the title, having struggled with a striker crisis the season before.
The 26-year-old will again be vital to any hopes the Blues have of retaining their title, but they will have to nurse the hamstring problems that have hampered him since his days at Atletico, and are threatening to keep him out of the Community Shield on Sunday.
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