Chelsea willing to pay £35m as they close in on Costa

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Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign Diego Costa but have indicated that they are willing to pay £35 million for the Atletico Madrid striker, reports suggest.

This is according to, who further claim that a significant portion of that fee includes money paid to agents.

It is also suggested by the same source that representatives of Premier League title hopefuls Chelsea have met with Costa's people several times of late and that further discussions are scheduled to take place later this month when the Blues face Atletico in the Champions League semi-final first leg at the Vicente Calderon.

Curiously, that aforementioned £35 million figure - although still obviously an exorbitant sum - is much less than conflicting reports from elsewhere have suggested that Chelsea would be willing to spend to bring Costa to Stamford Bridge.

Indeed, speculation over the weekend had initially suggested that Chelsea could splash out a truly eye-watering £50 million in order to get the deal done, but it looks like such a figure may well have been slightly wide of the mark.

Jose Mourinho's persistent and unwavering interest in Costa is certainly no surprise., however. Although his Chelsea side remain in the hunt for the title heading into the last four games of the 2013/14 Premier League season, there is no doubt that his current crop of forwards have struggled to hit the back of the net on a consistent basis in recent months.

And with uncertainty continuing to surround the futures of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o, Demba Ba and loanee Romelu Lukaku, it appears that the club are targeting a radical shake-up of their striking options this summer.

If indeed Chelsea do eventually reach an agreement for the prolific Costa, it will be intriguing to see if Mourinho then decides to further pursue other world-class marksmen or if he is merely content to keep the likes of Torres and Lukaku as back-up options.

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