Atletico Madrid have stepped up their interest in Chelsea striker Diego Costa after the English club confirmed they’d signed Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi on Sunday, according to the ​Express.

The Champions League finalists are keen on making a “marquee” signing ahead of the new season and believe their former front-man – who signed for Chelsea in summer 2014 – will fit the bill. 

Costa became unsettled at the club last season and is thought to be ready to return to his former club, though the Blues are already making contingency plans should he leave.

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Said contingency plan, at least according to Spanish publication AS, is that the club look to draft in Napoli hitman Gonzalo Higuain. Chelsea could demand as much as £40m for the Spanish international striker, but would need to reinvest that money (and almost double it) to reportedly secure the signature of the Argentinian forward.

He has rejected a new contract offer from Napoli recently – his brother has confirmed – though the Blues face competition from the likes of Liverpool and Atletico Madrid to sign him.

Nicolas Higuain told radio show Closs Continental last week: “The president is asking for the clause (£72m) to be paid to let go of Gonzalo, and we have the right to refuse to renew.

“Aurelio De Laurentiis has every right to demand the clause in his contract be paid, but my brother and I have decided not to accept a renewal. We’ll see what happens next year with Napoli, given that his contract expires in 2018 when he turns 30.

“For now we’ll continue to abide by the contract, after that I don’t know what will happen, whether a club will be able to buy him or not. We have a contract with Napoli and, as a great professional, Gonzalo will continue to respect it. He’ll train correctly and give his all.

“But it absolutely won’t be renewed if things stay this way.”

Chelsea have signed Batshuayi, but are light in the striking department as it stands after confirming Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao left the club last week.


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