Report: Chelsea agree $50 million Diego Costa transfer


After watching him rip their UEFA Champions League dream apart this week, Chelsea are now ready to stump up the cash for Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa.

Costa, 25, scored the Spanish sides crucial second goal at Stamford Bridge as he led Atleti to the UCL final for the first time in over 40 years.

The Blues were so impressed with his display that they’ve reportedly decided to step up their infatuation with the Brazilian born striker and meet the rather modest release clause of $50 million in his contract.

Modest? I’m not kidding. To find a clinical striker of Costa’s quality is extremely difficult and bear this in mind, Chelsea paid over $75 million two seasons ago for misfiring forward Fernando Torres. $50 million for Costa in the current market is a bargain.

(MORE: Three things we learned from Atletico’s win over Chelsea – Costa is a beast)

The Spanish international, who switched his allegiance from the Brazilian national team to the reigning World Cup champions ahead of the showpiece tournament in his homeland this summer, has scored 35 goals in 41 games this season so far and is on the brink of winning both La Liga and the Champions League with Atletico.

Umm…. why would he leave, then? Money.

If Costa does seal this switch to Chelsea then he can expect to triple his wages instantly, to a reported $300,000 a week, as the Blues’ power in the transfer market is there for all to see. Speaking after Atleti’s defeat of Chelsea in West London on Wednesday, Costa didn’t dismiss the idea of joining Chelsea but did state how happy he is at Atletico.

The age old argument of success and happiness vs. money will once again come to the fore as Chelsea chase Costa and the red-hot striker will have to decide where his future lies.

Get ready for this transfer saga to rumble on all summer long.

Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

[ MORE: Klinsmann sends Johnson home ]

Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT future ]

Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?