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Costa heading to Stamford Bridge

Published 02/07/2014 | 07:27

Diego Costa is on the brink of a move to Stamford Bridge
Diego Costa is on the brink of a move to Stamford Bridge

Diego Costa looks set to finally get his dream move to Chelsea after the Barclays Premier League club met the buy-out clause in the Atletico Madrid striker's contract.

Chelsea had been keen to tie up a deal for the Brazil-born Spain international ahead of the World Cup and tabled a formal bid for Costa, whose 36 goals helped fire Atletico to the Primera Division title and reach the final of the Champions League, where they were beaten in extra-time by city rivals Real.

However, despite Costa having also expressed his desire to head to Stamford Bridge, it was not until Tuesday that a satisfactory arrangement was concluded, with a fee believed to be around £32million and the player's salary expected to be in the region of £150,000-per-week.

A statement from Atletico read: "Diego Costa communicated his wish to be transferred to Chelsea at the end of last season and today, the two entities have reached an agreement whereby the London club is liable to meet the full amount that figures as the buy-out clause in the contract between the player and the club."

The 25-year-old emerged as the leading summer transfer target for Blues manager Jose Mourinho, who was determined to add some firepower to a squad which came up just short behind Manchester City and Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League and were knocked out of Europe in the semi-finals by Atletico.

A brief Chelsea statement said: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Diego Costa, with Chelsea meeting the buy-out clause for the Spanish international."

Costa is now poised to follow Spain team-mate Cesc Fabregas to Stamford Bridge, with the former Arsenal captain being signed from Barcelona on June 12 - the day before Spain crashed to a 5-1 defeat to Holland in their opening World Cup match in Brazil as the holders eventually went out at the group stage.

Defender Ashley Cole, however, has left Chelsea this summer at the end of his contract, along with England midfielder Frank Lampard and veteran striker Samuel Eto'o.

Mourinho is expected to continue his recruitment ahead of the new campaign, with Juventus' France midfielder Paul Pogba another reported target.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chelsea announced goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer had signed a new one-year contract.

The former Australia international, 41, headed to Stamford Bridge last summer on a free transfer from west London neighbours Fulham to offer back-up to Petr Cech and went on to make 12 appearances - including the semi-final against Atletico after injury to the Chelsea number one.

Press Association

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