Spain coach compares £32m Chelsea target to €15m Southampton flop... least in terms of their international representation - as Vicente Del Bosque once again goes on the offensive regarding Diego Costa.

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is giving teams around the world plenty of reason to watch on with envious eyes.

The Brazilian born forward has bagged 27 goals this season and the fact he has a £32 million reported release clause in his current deal has seen him linked with several big teams.

The biggest team of which appears to be Chelsea - who are said to be willing to splash out on the player this summer to help in their current striker shortage.

The beastly forward is however not just the subject of a tug-of-war at club level - but on the international stage as well.

At least he was anyway.

Because tonight he looks ready to cement his place as a Spanish international - despite playing for Brazil in two friendlies last year.

The striker has not lived in his homeland since moving to Portugal in 2006 - at the age of 17. He has now been living in Spain since 2007 and will start against Italy in an international friendly this evening for Los Rojos.

The decision to call him up and play him has received mixed views in the press - while the Brazilian media are struggling to come to terms with the fact one of their own may down their World Cup hopes this summer.

But Vicente Del Bosque, the Spanish coach, doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. He simply feels that the situation is comparable to that if Italian striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.

The Southampton flop, shipped out on loan to Juventus in January after a horrendous six months in England, cost €15 million and is likely to play this evening.

But like Costa he is from South America.

Osvaldo comes from Italian heritage - but was born and raised in Argentina. However he has been playing for the Azzurri since 2011 - after playing in the country since 2006, with stints at Espanyol and Southampton not included.

And Del Bosque believes:

"Italy play Pablo Osvaldo, right?" Was he born in Italy? The argument has passed. Costa is eligible to play for us, legally and technically. He's playing well with Atletico Madrid, is a striker who can compete with all the other strikers at our disposal and also has different characteristics from the others."

Chelsea will hope, if they do move for the player, that this is where the comparisons begin and end.

image: © fdecomite

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