LONDON: Chelsea, not put off by World Cup appearances, have confirmed the signing of centre-forward Diego Costa from Atletico de Madrid for £32m.
A club statement read: “Chelsea can confirm an agreement has been reached with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Diego Costa, with Chelsea meeting the buy-out clause.”
Brazil-born Costa came to Portugal first with Braga and Penafiel before moving to Spain on loan deals with Celta Vigo, Albacete, Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano before securing a starting place with long-tine owners Atletico.
His goals were in a key factor in their league championship success this past season but his – and their – Champions League dreams were ended by his failure to recover in time properly from injury. He had to be substituted early in the final which they lost to Real Madrid in Lisbon.
Controversially Costa opted to play at the World Cup for Spain rather than his native Brazil. He was subjected he prolonged abuse during Spain’s opening defeats at the finals which appeared to shake his confidence.
His tally of 27 goals in La Liga last season was bettered only by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (31) and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (28).
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had made the addition of a “killer” striker a key priority during the summer.
The London club scored 71 goals in the Premier League last season, 31 fewer than champions Manchester City, who finished four points ahead of them.
Strikers Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba contributed a total of 19 of those in the league, with 33-year-old Eto’o, who has been released, scoring nine of them.
Eto’o has left Chelsea on the expiry of his contract.
** England winger Adam Lallana has completed his £25m move from Southampton to Liverpool. Lallana, 26, is manager Brendan Rodgers’s second signing of the summer after former club-mate Rickie Lambert.