In the latest development in the ongoing Diego Costa saga, the Spaniard looks set to stay at Stamford Bridge once again, in the latest of several changes to the circumstances of the forward. The Mirror claim that Antonio Conte’s reluctance to allow the striker to leave has made any deal impossible, and Atletico Madrid are now shifting their attentions to reserve choice forward Kevin Gameiro.
For Antonio Conte, it is a real statement that he has been able to keep hold of the 27-year-old. With no European football this season, there had been fears about Chelsea’s force in the transfer market, and although it has not all been smooth sailing in the market for them so far, retaining Costa would prove that they still have that power.
The news comes as a bonus at a time when it has emerged that an approach for Carlos Tevez was rejected, via Sky Sports, as a move for Alvaro Morata has stalled, so say the Express. Tevez, who worked with Conte at Juventus, is set to turn down the London clubs approaches as he seeks to retire at his boyhood club, Boca Juniors, while Chelsea are slowly being priced out of a move for the Spanish striker Morata.
After having several major bids rejected for the Real Madrid forward, bosses are believed to have told Antonio Conte that he will have to consider cheaper alternatives with Zinedine Zidane desperate to retain his man unless a very lucrative offer is received. With no Champions League football this season, such concessions were always a possibility, and the Blues may have to wait until next summer to secure their man.
With Patrick Bamford also said to be interesting clubs in a potential loan deal, according to the Daily Star, there is a real lack of depth in the position. Conte will be hoping to add options to the ranks before the season kicks off in August.
Another Chelsea star whose future looks to be away from Stamford Bridge is Nemanja Matic. The Daily Mail claim that he tops Juventus’ list of targets as they seek to replace the outgoing Paul Pogba. Chelsea’s bosses are reluctant to let him go, knowing that he left as a makeweight in a deal for David Luiz before, only to be brought back in a costly operation for the club.
With N’Golo Kanté already signed up, there seems to be no desperate need to fight to retain Matic, who was disappointing last season. Should Juventus make a reasonable offer, which would be expected with Pogba’s fee rumoured to be at least £100 million, then Matic could well be headed to Italy. Whilst it would be a loss, there are plenty of midfield options at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are, however, favourites to secure the signature of Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij. Both Manchester clubs are also chasing the Lazio man, but the Express claim that he would prefer a £15 million move to London to join forces with John Terry and co. De Vrij would be a bargain at that price in a position which has been prioritised for new arrivals since Conte’s appointment.
Another target, Kalidou Koulibaly, also insists he is keen to leave Napoli, despite entering into new contract talks with the Italian club, say the Daily Mail. There had been rumours that Chelsea had been priced out of a move for the man who was one of their initial targets, but it remains to be seen if Everton will stump up the cash to make such an offer or not.
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