Spanish striker Diego Costa signed for Chelsea FC last season from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid in a A?32 million deal. However, Liverpool FC were close to signing the striker a year before his eventual arrival in England, with Jose Mourinho intervening to stop the transfer.
In the Brazilian-born striker’s new biography by Fran Gillen, entitled ‘Diego Costa: The Art of War’, it has been revealed how Jose Mourinho convinced the former Real Valladolid forward to turn down Liverpool FC‘s offer and wait for another year to sign for Chelsea FC.
Mourinho had identified Costa as a Didier Drogba-style centre-forward
The Reds had triggered the A?21.8 million release clause of Costa in 2013, when Luis Suarez was agitating for a move away from Anfield. However, the Spaniard signed a new contract with Atletico Madrid and turned down the offer to sign for Liverpool FC. It has been revealed that Chelsea FC agreed to pay more money to Atletico for the Spaniard, if they rejected Liverpool FC’s approach and held on to the striker for another 12 months.
LiverpoolEcho have quoted the biography, which reads:
a Jose Mourinho, recently returned to Chelsea, had also identified Costa as a primary target, a Didier Drogba-style centre-forward around whom he could forge a new winning machine.
a Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) July 30, 2015
a However, Mourinho had yet to persuade the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, to accelerate his rebuilding plans. In both acquiring new players and moving others on, the process would be gradual.
a If Costa could not be signed [for Chelsea] now, a strategy was needed to ensure he was delayed, and not diverted.
a Chelsea and Mourinho made their case to Costa and Atletico: turn down Liverpool now and we will sign you a for more money a in 12 months.a
Costa was instrumental in Chelsea FC’s title triumph last season
Costa helped The Blues to their first title in Jose Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge last season. Costa scored 20 goals in the League, despite being injured towards the end of last season. Before moving to England, the Brazilian born Spanish striker had guided his former club Atletico Madrid to the La Liga title, while he was also instrumental in the Vicente Calderon outfit’s incredible run to the Champions League final. However, Real Madrid finally brought an end to Atletico Madrid’s dream run to claim their elusive La Decima.