Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Douglas Costa after it emerged that Bayern Munich are on the verge of announcing the £25 million capture of the Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker.
Pep Guardiola has been heavily linked with an attempt to lure the South American to the Allianz Arena, and it now looks as though he's beaten old foe Jose Mourinho to the player's services.
It's understood the 24-year-old will pen a four-year contract with the Bavarian giants that runs until 2019 and will report for pre-season training with his new employers following a short holiday after the completion of the Copa America tournament that he's currently taking part in, in Chile.
The Blues will now be forced to consider alternative attacking midfield options when the transfer window reopens in less than a week's time, although you could argue that the Premier League champions already have plenty of strength in that area of the pitch, and that it's other positions in the team that the Portuguese coach should be focusing on improving.
Mourinho is yet to make a single signing so far this summer though, and he'll undoubtedly be getting itchy palms as he bids to strengthen his title-winning squad even further with the help of Roman Abramovich's hefty chequebook.
Chelsea had not given up hope of luring Costa to England from the war-torn Ukraine, believing that the presence of several of the player's international team-mates in west London would strengthen their hand when it came to battling Bayern for his signature.
However, it appears the creative star has opted instead for a career in Germany after deciding that his long-term future would be better served under the watchful eye of former Barcelona head coach Guardiola.
A verbal agreement with the player and his current club is all that's said to have happened so far, though, meaning that there is still time for the prospective deal to fall through or a rival suitor hijack the move.
What's clear is that Costa has his heart set on a move to central Europe, after recently confirming his desire to leave Mircea Lucescu's team.
"I have been working for years towards playing at a big club in central Europe and if the opportunity arose, I would be very happy," he is quoted saying by ESPN.
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