Man who discovered £32m Chelsea target - 'I find it hard to find a similar player in the world'

Atletico Madrid

Jesus Garcia Pitarch has been singing the praises of Diego Costa.

One of the most coveted players in the world at this moment of time is Diego Costa.

The Atletico Madrid striker is being linked with clubs across the globe - with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and AS Monaco all linked with the striker who has a £32 million release clause in his current deal.

The desire to get hold of the player stretches beyond just club football. On an international stage Brazil and Spain fought it out for his services - with him choosing his adopted home of Spain.

The team most heavily linked with a potential summer approach for the player is Chelsea - who are looking for a new striker to add depth to the area of the field which clearly needs the most improvement for Jose Mourinho.

But to get where he is now - he has come from humble beginnings.

Costa made the big decision to leave his homeland for Portugal at the age of 16 - as he struggled to find his way into the competitive youth academies of Brazilian football.

He signed for Braga and ended up on loan at Penafiel - where he bagged five goals in 13 games for the club.

He was then signed by Atletico Madrid, seemingly out of the blue, in 2007 - and the man who spotted him has been gushing about the first time he saw him play. Jesus Garcia Pitarch was the director of football for Los Colchoneros and in an interview with Tutto Mercato Web he mentioned how he was instantly impressed with the striker:

"Although the pitch was impracticable, I saw a fantastic player. Julián Muñoz was the technical secretary, and we were impressed by his character and ability. Dribbling, has stroke, force, character, is a complete player. I find it hard to find a similar player in the world. It has many qualities and there is one that makes it special. It's soul winner. As a fan and former Atletico leader, I hope he stays a long time, or at least to stay in Spain and in the league."

Costa went on to spend time away from Atletico on a temporary basis with five different teams - but has now stepped into the void left behind by Radamel Falcao with aplomb.

Now Chelsea must surely share the passion Pitarch once had for Costa in order to bring him in - as he might just be the perfect recruit.

image: © azuaje

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch