In the roller coaster ride that is Diego Costa’s future, there have been further causes for concern on the behalf of Chelsea. Firstly, video footage from the tunnel appeared to show Costa telling Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos that he was keen to leave Stamford Bridge following the friendly between the two clubs, and then Antonio Conte gave some rather unconvincing answers regarding his future. Sky Sports report that he told the press “I speak only for today and today Costa is Chelsea’s player. Tomorrow if you ask me if Costa will remain with us, I don’t know.”
For Blues fans, the longer the saga draws on, the more fed up they become with the Spaniard’s attitude. If Costa is desperate to leave London for Madrid, then it would be unlikely that anyone would stand in his way. However, following the signing of Kevin Gameiro, there are doubts over whether or not Atletico Madrid would be able to afford to sign Costa, even if they wanted to add another striker to their ranks for the 2016/17 season.
One player who is set to stay at Stamford Bridge despite interest from elsewhere is last season’s player of the season, Willian. The 27-year-old reportedly turned down a move from former boss Jose Mourinho, according to the Mirror, with the Portuguese manager wanting to take the Brazilian to Old Trafford. With contact made earlier in the summer, Willian instead signed a new four-year deal at Chelsea to commit to the club.
The news is a major boost for the west London club, with this kind of move exactly what fans were fearing as they missed out on European football with a squad full of stars like Willian, who was one of the few to live up to expectations last season. It is also set to increase the tensions between Mourinho and some figures at the club, who will be angered that he returned to try to poach some of Chelsea’s most important figures.
However, his compatriot Oscar may well depart before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month. The Mirror report that Serie A teams Inter Milan and Juventus have shown an interest in the 24-year-old, who performed poorly last season. Blues bosses were said to have been refusing to discuss any deals for the attacking midfielder, but it now seems that there may have been a change of mind.
Oscar has always been inconsistent in his time in London, and if a reasonable fee can be agreed, it would not be a surprise, nor a disappointment, to see the creative player leave. It is hard to see how Oscar, who plays best centrally, will fit into the Conte model. With so many doubts over his future, and Juventus having money to spend should the Paul Pogba deal be completed, the deal could be best for all parties.
With Baba Rahman also close to completing a deal, a loan move to Schalke, Antonio Conte is said to have earmarked PSV’s Colombian left-back Santiago Arias as a replacement, claim the Sun. The Blues have monitored the 24-year-old during the Copa America and pre-season, with the defender catching the eye of Chelsea’s new boss.
Arias would be able to compete at first team level, unlike Rahman, with Champions League experience and vast international experience of 27 caps to his name. With a wealth of attacking qualities, it is clear to see how Arias could fit the wing back model that Conte prefers, and certainly provides a better match than Rahman.
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