Atletico Madrid have reportedly made an of £10.6 million for Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao, adding further fuel to speculation that they are planning to replace Chelsea target Diego Costa.
This is according to reports from Spanish publication AS cited by talkSPORT, which further suggest that the La Liga leaders have made Internacional frontman Damiao their choice to succeed Costa at the Vicente Calderon.
Chelsea have long been linked with a potential swoop for Spanish international Costa, with recent media gossip having suggested that the Blues had agreed a fee for the services of the £32 million-rated star.
While such a deal does not yet look to have been officially completed, the fact that Atletico appear to be sizing up striker targets of their own is sure to provide Jose Mourinho and Chelsea fans with a timely boost.
With the trio of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o having failed to provide any sort of consistent goal threat for the majority of the season, Mourinho is widely expected to radically alter his strikeforce before the 2014/15 campaign gets underway.
Whether the club will be content to offload all three of those aforementioned players remains to be seen, although it seems incredibly unlikely that all three will remain at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer.
The decision on Eto'o is inevitably made a little easier due to the fact that his one-year contract is set to expire shortly but Mourinho must also decide on the future of loanee Romelu Lukaku, who is due to return to Chelsea at the end of the season following a hugely impressive spell with Everton.
It is certainly not difficult to see why Chelsea possess such a keen interest in Costa. Although he has taken a little bit of time to truly prove his worth in Spanish football, the 25-year-old - who is in his second spell at Atletico - has notched 27 goals in just 33 league appearances for Diego Simeone's side.
While it is not abundantly clear if the success of Chelsea's pursuit of Costa will hinge solely on Atletico's ability to woo Damiao, it could surely speed up proceedings if they were to successfully negotiate his transfer from South America.
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