Chelsea hopes to conclude the signing of Diego Costa from Atlético Madrid immediately after the Spanish club's participation in the Champions League final on 24 May. The club has agreed to meet the £31.8m release clause in the striker's contract.
Costa, has played a fantastic season and has led his club towards a possible La Liga/Champions League double. The final La Liga Match will be played this weekend with Atletico Madrid on top of the table only 3 points clear of FC Barcelona. Costa has long been linked with a move to London, with Jose Mourinho desperate to make a splash in the summer transfer window.
The 25-year-old Brazilian-born striker has scored 27 goals in La Liga this season, the most productive campaign of his career. He haas been just as impressive in helping Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid reach a European Cup final in 40 years.
Costa was also the man who scored the penalty which defeated Chelsea 2-1 up at Stamford Bridge in the semi-final of the Champions League last month, going head to head with John Terry. He has long been José Mourinho's principal forward target. Chelsea hope to muscle him away from the Vicente Calderón, with the London club now prepared to meet the terms of his release clause.
Costa and Jose Mourinho share the same agent, Jorge Mendes, and this should make the facilitation of the deal a lot easier. Marina Granovskaia, effectively Roman Abramovich's representative in London over the past four years is understood to be overseeing negotiations. Othe key signings completed under Granovskaia were David Luiz from Benfica and Fernando Torres from Liverpool and was also instrumenta in Mourinho's return to the club after several seasons with Real Madrid.
Chelsea hopes to conclude the deal before Costa joins the Spain squad in their campign to defend their World Cup title. He has been called up to front team with La Furia Roja veterans Fernando Torres and Fernando Llorente. Costa has declared himself for the defending champions despite making two appearances for Brazil in friendly fixtures last year.
Atletico Madrid, will be reluctant to announce any imminent deal until the conclusion of their La Liga and Champions League campaigns which means that the deal with Costa is not expected to be formally announced until early June, after the big two games.
Chelsea finished the 2013/14 season in third place, four points behind Manchester City and two behind Liverpool, with their goal scoring record seen by many as the reason for them failing to win a trophy.
The Blues scored 71 goals, compared to 102 for City and Liverpool's 101, and their only player in double figures was attacking midfielder Eden Hazard, who managed 14.
Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba scored only 19 goals between them, often leading to speculation Mourinho would make a big-money move for a player like Costa, who has scored 27 times in 33 appearances in La Liga this season.