Blues had been expected to move for the Colombian hit man, but will now attempt to lure new Spain international to the Bridge instead in January. <a href=’fanatix://eventid/51c186d9034c7dfe27000067/’ class=’in-app-event-link’>Check in to Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion</a>
Chelsea will step up their attempts to sign in-form and in-demand Atletico de Madrid front man Diego Costa as soon as the winter transfer window reopens in January after the west London club decided against following up their long-standing interest in prolific AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.
Returning Blues head coach Jose Mourinho told the west London club after making his long-awaited comeback to Stamford Bridge from Spanish giants Real Madrid last summer that the only forward he was interested in bringing to the capital was unsettled Manchester United attacker Wayne Rooney.
As a result, the Uefa Europa League holders then spent the entire close season attempting to lure the highly rated England international away from Old Trafford, only to see a number of big-money offers for Rooney rejected out of hand by the Premier League champions.
And when the new Red Devils manager David Moyes then made it clear late on in the transfer window that he and his club had absolutely no intention whatsoever of allowing Rooney to leave the Theatre of Dreams, the self-styled Special One finally decided to give up on his much-publicised pursuit of the Englishman.
However, that did ultimately mean that the Portuguese was left to make do with just misfiring Spain international Fernando Torres, veteran recent new arrival Samuel Eto’o and out-of-favour Senegalese marksman Demba Ba as his only three front men at the Bridge this season, at least until the winter window opened again in January that is.
Mourinho, though, was said to be happy with the players he had at his disposal, even making it be known in private that he was relishing the challenge of trying to win the Premier League title this season with such limited options up front.
But, by all accounts that view has now altered radically, especially following the recent muscle injury picked up in training by in-form Spain striker Torres, while neither Eto’o or Ba has fully convinced on the rare occasions each man has been given a chance to stake a claim for a regular starting role in attack in the absence of first-choice forward Torres.
All of which has led to Mou now finally relenting, with the west Londoners set to splash the cash again as soon as the winter window reopens in January, although the Chelsea boss has dramatically shifted his striking focus away from his previous long-running target Falcao, and towards that of Atletico marksman Costa.
And that is because the reports that the Portuguese has reportedly been getting back on the in-demand Colombia international from both his time at the Vincente Calderon, and now in the South of France, have highlighted his tendency to do all his work in the opposition box, with Falcao very rarely, if ever, linking up with his team-mates outside the area.
It was this supposed weakness in the player’s all-round game that apparently prevented Mourinho from moving for the forward earlier this year, before Falcao eventually made his surprising move from Atleti to newly promoted Ligue 1 outfit Monaco for a whopping transfer fee of 60 million euros.
However, Chelsea’s scouting team have recently informed Mourinho that the club would be better served moving for Atletico front man Costa instead, with the new Spain international both a far cheaper option than Falcao, but also more likely to fit into the Blues’ way of playing.
The Brazil-born attacker is currently on fire in front of goal for the Liga high flyers under the clever management of former Argentina international Diegon Simeone, with Costa having so far found the back of the net on an impressive 16 occasions in total in just 14 Liga and Champions League contest to date, form in front of goal that makes the 25-year-old the Continent’s most prolific attacker at present.
But Mourinho is also said to be hugely encouraged by Costa’s ability to link up well with his team-mates in areas outside of the penalty box, rather than being solely an out-and-out fox in the box, a characteristic which the Chelsea boss is keen for all his strikers to possess.
And with intermediaries from the west London club having already made unofficial contact with the player’s representatives of late to ascertain whether or not Costa would be willing to make the move to the Bridge at the turn of the year, the Blues are now understood to be confident of successfully concluding a deal for the front man in January.
Costa only recently agreed to put pen to paper on a new contract in the Spanish capital that now ties the forward to the Liga giants until June 30 2018 after Premier League outfit Liverpool tried to buy the marksman in August, however, it is understood that were any interested suitor be willing to offer Atleti a sum upwards of £35 million for their star man, then they would be prepared to sell the player.