Costa on verge of €40 million Chelsea switch

Chelsea have reached an agreement to sign striker Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, the Premier League club have announced.

The Spain international had long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge and now the Blues have confirmed they have met the buy-out clause for the 25-year-old.

“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,” read a statement on the club’s website.

Brazil-born Costa netted some 35 goals for Atletico last season as they won the Spanish title and reached the Champions League final, where they lost in extra-time to Real Madrid.

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 Premier League and were knocked out of Europe in the semi-finals by Atletico.

In a statement last night, Atletico said Costa had sought a move to Chelsea but the club had insisted on receiving his full buy-out clause.

It is believed the transfer fee will be in the region of £32 million (€40m).

“Diego Costa communicated at the end of last season his will to be transferred to Chelsea and today the two clubs have reached an agreement for which the London club must pay the full amount set as the buy-out clause in the contract between the player and the club,” the statement said.

His signing is a major coup for the club who also secured the services of former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas. He was signed from Barcelona on June 12, the day before Spain crashed to a 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands in their opening World Cup match in Brazil.

Chelsea have also announced that goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer had signed a new one-year contract.

Meanwhile, Everton defender Tony Hibbert has signed a new two-year contract with the club after his existing deal expired.

The 33-year-old managed just six appearances last season due to the form of Irish right-back Seamus Coleman and niggling injuries which kept him sidelined for long periods.

However, manager Roberto Martinez is keen to retain a degree of experience in his dressing room and as a result Hibbert will stay on for another couple of years.

Martinez is also looking after the future of the club, however, and has handed reserves striker Conor McAleny a new three-year deal.

Elsewhere, Blackpool winger Tom Ince remains locked in talks with Hull over a prospective switch to the KC Stadium. The 22-year-old met Tigers officials for the first time yesterday with a view to becoming the Premier League side’s third signing of the summer.

Ince is out of contract at Bloomfield Road but because he is under 23 Blackpool will be due compensation when he makes his next move.

He held talks with Inter Milan last month about a potential move to the San Siro but decided his future lay in England.

Stoke City were another club to show an interest in Ince but Hull boss Steve Bruce appears close to winning the race for his signature.


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