Mere hours after the BBC reported that Chelsea had paid Diego Costa’s $54 million transfer fee and the striker had completed a medical examination, reports out of Madrid claim Atletico Madrid have “no knowledge of anything that is being said” in the English media.
Costa, who scored 36 goals in all competitions last season helping Atletico win their first La Liga title in 18 years, has been widely tipped for a move to Stamford Bridge. According to Cerezo, however, no deal has been finalized and if one is to get done, he wants his club to be paid in full.
Diego has the attributes to become the world’s best forward but what we will not do is oblige someone to play where they do not want to. . . . If he (Costa) has an agreement with someone then let him come and tell us. If he wants to leave, let him come and deposit his buyout clause which I believe is around 42 or 43 million euros [$54.5 million].
So do Cerezo’s comments indicate a problem with Chelsea’s deal for Costa?
Not really. This is likely the Atleti president acting out over pre-mature reports. Whether the transfer fee has already been paid or Costa has already passed a medical is of little significance because from all accounts, this deal is as good as done. But there is an order of operations as to when key information surrounding these deals is to be released and it could very well be that the BBC’s report, assuming it’s true, was issued a bit earlier than Cerezo would have liked.
Cerezo’s comment concerning Chelsea’s need to pay the full buy-out clause is also significant because it indicates Chelsea will not use Thibaut Courtois or Romelu Lukaku as a makeweight to obtain Costa.
While Jose Mourinho has told Courtois that he wants to keep the Belgian netminder at Chelsea next season, Lukaku’s future remains unclear. One thing is certain, with Lukaku’s return, Costa’s imminent arrival and the remaining presence of Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres, the summer striker shakeup at Chelsea has a lot more in store.