Chelsea may have received a big boost in their apparent pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Douglas Costa this summer after the player himself strongly hinted he’d welcome the chance to play under Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
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The Brazilian wide-man has long impressed as one of the finest attacking players in the Ukrainian top division, and reports from The Guardian back in January suggested Chelsea were considering making a £20 million offer for him.
It now looks like the Brazilian may be set to make a move this summer, having indicated himself that he is looking for a change of scene.
The Metro describes Chelsea as being ‘cleared’ to sign the player in a £20m deal, with Costa being quoted as saying he’d like a move this summer.
“Eventually the time comes when you get tired of always playing in the same league,” he began, speaking to Bild [via Sport].
“I’m 24 years old and it is worth trying to tell people that I want to go.
“We have a wonderful coach in Mircea Lucescu, but I think it’s time for a change and I think Mourinho is the best in the world.”
In January, Mourinho moved to sign a similar style of player to Douglas, opting to bring in Colombian international Juan Cuadrado from Serie A giants Fiorentina, after he’d caught the eye with some fine displays in Italy.
Cuadrado’s form since moving to Stamford Bridge has been less than impressive, barely appearing for the team in the second half of the season as they stuck with a familiar line-up in their bid to claim Premier League glory, which they achieved largely with an attack consisting of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian behind the main striker.
The Colombian managed only 12 appearances in the EPL since moving in the January transfer window, of which only four were starts.
Oscar is another attacking midfielder who has been linked to the exit door at Stamford Bridge, with the Daily Express [via the Daily Star] reporting that Juventus are keen to acquire the Brazil international.
With Willian only managing four goals and four assists all season long, an underwhelming return for an attack-minded midfielder, it may be that Chelsea will try again to address that issue on the right flank by bringing in Costa from Shakhtar.
Known for being something of a flair player, the 24-year-old could prove an upgrade on both Willian and Cuadrado, in a move that would make sense for the Premier League champions as they look to do even better next season by going further in both the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Even if not always a starter, Costa would give Mourinho more options in attack, perhaps allowing for Mourinho to rotate and for players like Hazard to get more of a rest. The Pensioners arguably ran out of steam in their efforts to challenge in four competitions in 2014/15 and this is something the Portuguese coach may look to remedy as the West Londoners look to retain their title.