Just when it seemed Chelsea were going all out in a bid to land Fioretina’s Colombian international Juan Cuadrado in the January this happens…
Over the last 24 hours the sails of the rumour mill have been whipping round and round in response to great gusts of speculation regarding the Blues’ interest in Shakhtar Donetsk’s Douglas Costa.
The Evening Standard went so far as to report that the Stamford Bridge side had lodged a £16m bid for a player they first attempted to sign from Gremio in 2009.
Costa himself is keen on the idea, having told Brazil’s Globo Esporte:
‘It’s a dream to play for Chelsea, a unique chance. I will try to negotiate.’
However, the Brazilian is a sizeable 5/1 to join his former teammate Willian in west London and may well have been duped into playing patsy in an elaborate Blues scheme to hurry Fiorentina’s hand over Cuadrado.
Various sources including the Metro and the Daily Express have already reported the Viola to have accepted a £23m bid for the latter’s services.
It has been mooted in places that Chelsea are planning a ‘double swoop’, but given Jose Mourinho’s well-known preference for no more than two players in for each position in his squad signing two right-wingers in January seems unlikely.
Of the pair, Cuadrado has the greater international standing, having provided a tournament-leading four assists Colombia’s run to the World Cup quarter finals last summer.
Costa has a comparatively slight two caps for Brazil – then there’s the Fiorentina man’s superior positional adaptability.
According to whoscored.com he has operated in every position across an attacking three this term, as well as at number ten and right-wing back.
This makes him infinitely more appealing for a pared down Mourinho squad than the Shakhtar man, who has been employed solely as a right forward this season.