The Hard Tackle brings you all the buzz surrounding Chelsea.
Chelsea forward Diego Costa has being doing rounds in the media ever since his alleged bust up with manager Antonio Conte. The striker was dropped from his side’s matchday squad against Leicester City on the weekend.
Football pundit Alan Shearer has stated that Chelsea would prefer selling Costa if he is disruptive in the Blues dressing room. The Spain international has been in sublime form this season, but it is unsure whether or not he is set to feature in a Chelsea jersey this season.
During his punditry on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 Extra, the former Newcastle striker said:
“He will dictate the situation. The players have the vast majority of the power. If the player does not want to be there, he will go. It depends how bad an apple he becomes. If it affects the dressing room, you have to get rid. Chelsea will miss Diego Costa. He has scored goals, provided assists and been the best player this season.”
Matt Law of the Telegraph has given additional information on the matter stating that Conte will be looking to hold peaceful talks with Costa in the next coming days. However, if the striker repeats his actions, he is likely to be shipped off in the summer.
While China looks to be the probable destination should the 28-year-old walk through the door at Stamford Bridge, former Chelsea and Manchester United midfielder Ray Wilkins has stated that a move to Asia will destroy the player’s career.
Wilkins told Premier League Daily (h/t Sky Sports) that Costa could chose career over a staggering pay hike and should consider against following his former teammates Ocsar and Ramires to China.
“If it’s financial, and he wants to move to China, then I don’t quite understand it to be perfectly honest,” said the football analyst.
“I think as a footballer if you’re going to go to China, now at 28 years of age, you’re basically saying, like Oscar, your career is finished. You’re going there for the finance. Aren’t these young men earning enough in this country to enjoy playing their football?,” stated Wilkins.
Reports have also emerged that Costa rejected a £200,000 per-week deal offered by the Chelsea hierarchy, making clear that he wanted out. It is also understood that a five-year-deal was offered, but the player decided against obliging and turned down the offer.
While we are on the subject of astronomical sums, Conte has stated that money is not everything in the beautiful game. He also believes that the Chinese sides offer no threat to the star names at Chelsea as they are happy with life at Stamford Bridge.
According to ESPN, he said, “I think we’re a great club and it’s a great honour to play for Chelsea and for this reason I don’t see a threat from China for my players. The money is not everything. When you play for a great team like Chelsea, you must be pleased with your situation.”
Moving to transfer stories for the day, Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford is set to complete a permanent move to newly-promoted Premier League outfit Middlesbrough. The Telegraph has stated that the deal could rise up to £10 million.
The Blues recently recalled the 23-year-old from his relatively unsuccessful loan spell at Burnley after he fell down the pecking order for Sean Dyche’s side. Chelsea have now agreed to let go of their striker for an initial fee of £6m. However, it contains significant add-ons that could push the price significantly higher.
The biggest story of the day on the transfer scene for the Blues fans is that the club have been linked with an ambitious £75 million move for Bayern Munich attacker Thomas Muller. The German appears to be unsettled at the Allianz Arena and could fancy a move to the Premier League.
Also, given the uncertainty in the Costa saga, it makes sense for Conte to line up a replacement of equal stature and quality. Muller’s arrival would certainly be a massive boost to Chelsea’s attack and would give the fans a new hero to cheer for.
The 27-year-old’s performances for Germany have been unparalleled and he is known to have penchant for scoring in big matches. However, his showings for the club have taken a steep detour as he has struggled to find the back of the net this season.
In Bayern’s 24 matches this season, manager Carlo Ancelotti has opted to start with Muller on just 16 occasions. In the chances handed to him, the German talisman has failed to justify his starting eleven credentials – scoring a meagre three goals.
It remains to be seen whether Conte will be willing to invest heavily in a player who has failed to live up to his billing this season or the Italian could look to negotiate with the German side into letting go of Muller on the cheap.