After reports of a training ground bust up over a rejected bid from China for superstar striker Diego Costa, the Chelsea squad are begging the Brazil born Spanish international to apologise and get his season back on track, say the Telegraph. However, Antonio Conte is already believed to be considering his options up front and opted to start with Willian in his place as Costa was left in London for the trip to Leicester City, with Conte and the club claiming that Costa is sidelined by a back injury.
Now, the Express claim that Antonio Conte is already targeting a £75 million move for Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller as a replacement. The German international has found it increasingly hard to fit into a new system implemented by former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti in Munich, which seemingly has no room for Muller, and he may be open to the idea of an exit if Chelsea do make a move for him this month or in the summer.
Few have pedigree as rich as the German, who has scored 161 goals in his career, with 36 of those coming in just 83 caps for his national team. There is no questioning his superb goalscoring record which rivals the very best, and with numerous league titles, a Champions League winners medal and a World Cup winner, his record is amongst the best in the business.
That said, he is not exactly a like for like replacement. Whilst Muller is strong in the air, he lacks the physical presence and threat of Costa and he is not a centre forward in the same way that Costa is. Usually deployed in the hole behind another striker, Muller was used frequently by Pep Guardiola as a number 10 in a similar style to that of Lionel Messi, and he has also spent much of the rest of his career playing wide on the right side of attack, a position occupied by Pedro at present.
However, with four and a half years left on his existing contract at the Allianz Arena, it seems unlikely that Bayern will be keen to negotiate. Muller may have to force a move if he continues to be left out by Ancelotti and Chelsea do make an offer. Conte may opt to bring him in to create a fluid front three akin to that of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, but it would be surprising to see him labelled a direct replacement for Diego Costa for such a mammoth fee.
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