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Chelsea prepared to make Costa joint-highest earner

ESPN staff
April 16, 2014
Costa and Torres linked to transfers

Chelsea are moving closer to a deal for long-time target Diego Costa, which could see the striker become the club's joint-highest paid player alongside Eden Hazard.

Jose Mourinho is keen to bolster his attacking options after publically criticising current Chelsea strikers Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o on a number of occasions this season.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea are prepared to offer Atletico Madrid forward Costa a staggering £185,000-a-week wage - the same as current highest earner Hazard.

TheDaily Mirror, however, claim the deal is more likely to cost Chelsea in the region of £50m, but some consideration must be given to third-party ownership of the 25-year-old.

Diego Simeone, whose Atletico side were drawn against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, admitted on Tuesday that it is likely he will lose his star striker this summer, while both clubs are reportedly set to meet later this week to discuss the matter, as well as the eligibility of on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

"It will depend on him [Costa] and what he thinks is the best for his future," Simeone said. "I will support any decision he makes. It's natural that Chelsea are interested in him. That makes me happy, because my aim and that of my coaching staff is to see our players improve.

"We understand that Chelsea have huge financial power and if he wants to live off football for the rest of his life, I will have no problem in him going. It was like Radamel Falcao, how could I tell him not to go to Monaco?

"Samuel Eto'o has made Chelsea better. He is getting older and Diego Costa could do his thing there, but for now he is ours.

"He has room for improvement. He's rebellious and I like that and he's something different. Hopefully his development won't end. Right now he's among the candidates for the Ballon d'Or."

Chelsea were warned by UEFA that they could face sanctions if Courtois is not allowed to play against them but, like Blues chief executive Ron Gourlay, Simeone believes the goalkeeper will feature.

"I have no doubt that he will be there against Chelsea," Simeone said. "He does not have any doubts either. I still do not know where he will play next year."

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