Chelsea are weighing up a January swoop for Brazilian-born Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa.
The 25-year-old was previously a target for Liverpool, but Brendan Rodgers would not match the La Liga club’s valuation of Costa in the summer. This has since increased to a reported £35 million.
Costa tops the Spanish scoring charts ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with ten goals. He also bagged a brace as Atletico eased to a 3-0 away victory at Austria Vienna in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho has turned to Costa as he searches for a striker that consistently performs.
The Special One currently rotates Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba at Stamford Bridge after loaning Romelu Lukaku out to Everton.
Neither one of the three frontmen has managed to nail down the lone striker role so far this term.
Former Atletico and Liverpool star Torres scored twice as Mourinho won his first European match on German soil in Gelsenkirchen against Schalke though.
Diego Simeone will want to keep Costa in the Spanish capital as he lost last season’s top scorer Radamel Falcao to resurgent Monaco for £50 million in the summer.
Costa has flourished, however, by filling the void left by the Colombian hitman at the Vicente Calderon.
Atletico sit second in La Liga, a point behind leaders Barcelona and two ahead of city rivals Real Madrid, after nine matches.
Costa is also at the centre of an international tug-of-war between Brazil and Spain as both countries court his services ahead of the World Cup.
Despite having two caps for Brazil, Costa has only been used by Phil Scolari in friendlies against Italy and Russia this spring. He was left off the Confederations Cup roster, however.
FIFA rules state that competitive games alone are binding, leaving Costa open to switch international allegiance to Spain.