Chelsea transfer roundup: Diego Costa speaks, Conte mulling Belotti bid and more
All the transfer news and rumours coming out of Stamford Bridge.
Diego Costa speaks in exclusive interview
The Diego Costa saga continues to drag on with the latest reports coming in of an exclusive interview the wantaway striker gave to Brazilian TV. Costa has informed Chelsea that he will not return to London and will stay in Brazil until Atletico Madrid (his preferred destination) and the Blues come to an agreement for his transfer.
However, he has acknowledged that he will have to change his plans should the clubs not reach an agreement on the fee. Speaking with ESPN Brazil Costa said, "I've demonstrated I care for Atletico and have interest in playing for them,"
"But if Atletico and Chelsea don't come to an agreement and Atletico don't make a big effort, I can't keep on wanting to play for a club that isn't going to make a bigger effort to try and sign me."
"I know that this [big effort] will happen, but if it's to pay the amount that Chelsea want it won't be possible."
"What I know is that this offer Chelsea will get is bigger than what they paid [when they signed Costa from Atletico for £32 million in July 2014], so I've given them something back in all senses [sporting and financial]." he concluded.
Conte to bid for Belotti when Costa leaves
According to the Daily Star and Goal, Antonio Conte is preparing a bid for Torino hitman Andrea Belotti. The report states that Chelsea will make a substantial offer for Belotti once they resolve the Diego Costa issue. The Italian boss wants at least two top strikers to pick from for Chelsea's Premier League and Champions League games after signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid earlier this summer.
At the moment Conte has bemoaned the small size of his squad this season and is pushing the Chelsea board to make more signings. As negotiations with Atletico Madrid for Diego Costa continue to go on, Conte wants to make a statement by signing another big name striker but at the moment Chelsea are reluctant to pay Belotti's €90 million release clause.
Van Dijk spotted in London
Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk was spotted in London earlier this week ahead of an apparent move to Chelsea as per reports from the Telegraph. The report states that Blues boss Antonio Conte is determined to sign another centre-back for his "small squad" and Van Dijk is on his list. However, Southampton released a statement earlier this week saying that they would not sell Van Dijk at any cost this season.
The Instagram picture showing Van Dijk in London has since been deleted. The defender continues to push for a move away from St.Mary's and Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are all interested in signing him, but Southampton's strong statement has reportedly killed off their interest.
Blues to move for Soares soon
Chelsea will make a bid to sign Cedric Soares from Southampton before the end of the transfer window on 31st August as per reports from several papers including the Telegraph. Antonio Conte wants to sign a wing-back desperately in this window and Soares is on his list after the Blues missed out on Alex Sandro and Serge Aurier.
The reported bid for Soares is around £15 million and he could sign for Chelsea should Southampton accept the bid.