Now Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hinted that he is interested in the Brazilian-born Spain international forward.
Well, the Portuguese has not directly said so, but he did confirm that he wants to bring in two top players and refused to rule out a bid for Costa.
‘The only thing I can see is that the market is closed’, he told reporters on Friday. ‘It opens, as you know, in the summer. Chelsea will be quite calm and quiet during that period. They won't be the noisy team selling and buying, buying and selling. We aren't going to be that kind of club.
‘We are going to do, I would say, a couple of critical signings. Is a striker a target for us? Yes. Is Diego [Costa] a good player? Yes, he is but he's an Atletico Madrid player so I cannot say much’.
Mourinho’s words are open to interpretation. But note this: he does not categorically rule out making an offer for Costa and does not deny that he is interested in the 25-year-old.
Recall what Carlo Ancelotti said when he was recently quizzed about his interest in the managerial job at Manchester United. The Real Madrid coach vehemently denied that he wants to move to Old Trafford and insisted that he is happy in Spain. Those were the unalloyed reactions of a man who genuinely had no interest in what was being proposed to him.
Now contrast that with how Mourinho reacted when quizzed on his transfer targets. Of course, the former Inter Milan coach is not going to “say much” about Costa – it’s not ethical and he could get into trouble if he openly declares his interest in the former Real Valladolid man. But at the same time he does not deny his interest.
Which means only one thing: Mourinho is interested in signing Costa in the summer.