By Harry Sykes
Diego Costa’s protracted transfer saga could be finally coming to an end as two more clubs have professed an interest in signing him, according to a report.
The Evening Standard reports that both Monaco and Marseilles want to sign the striker, with a proposed move to Atletico Madrid seemingly way off.
Costa and Chelsea are currently in dispute, with the striker currently staying in Brazil in protest at his treatment by the club.
He wants a move to Ateltico Madrid but the move is complicated because of the Spanish club’s ban on signing anyone until January.
They could still progress with the deal and loan him out until January, but a fee has yet been agreed, and Chelsea want £50million.
So far, Ateltico have only offered £26million – almost half the money Chelsea are after.
That has alerted the other two top-flight teams and they were given hope when Costa said he might be forced to accept a move elsewhere if Ateltico didn’t double their efforts to get his deal over the line.
It is reported that Monaco can afford the £50million after selling Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva this summer.
They might be in the market for another striker if they sell Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, Marseille have broken cover, with president Jacques-Henri Eyraudormer confirming interest in the player and saying that he believes a deal can be done.
“I like his character, his grit and his sense of combat. He would marry very well with OM,” he said.
“He has a complicated contractual situation.
“If a player ticks all the boxes, then we have shown that are able to do transactions.
“Why not? It must at least meet certain conditions. Nothing is impossible.”
The Standard claim that Marseille, who were taken over by US businessman Frank McCourt last year, could have up to £180million to spend on players over the next four years.
Football Insider verdict:
What a mess. There were rumours that Costa wasn’t happy at Chelsea last Christmas, but he knuckled down for the team and helped them win the Premier League title last season. But having him at the club any longer than necessary is now only going to do harm to the defending champions. He wants out, the club don’t want him, and surely it’s now just a case of finding a club that fits and is willing to pay the price. Clubs are thinking they can hold out and get him on the cheap. Chelsea aren’t showing any signs of budging. However, he can still do a job at the top level and either Monaco or Marseille could get him if they’re willing to spend the money. The Marseille president is publicly courting him, but would he want to go there after setting his heart on a move back to Atletico? Only time will tell.
In other Chelsea transfer news, the club have been handed a huge boost as this vital duo are set to return to action.