Last summer, we saw José Mourinho grab Diego Costa from Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid. Costa exploded on the scene in England, and added 20 Premier League goals to his name. Chelsea is chasing down the signature of another Atletico forward, Antoine Griezmann, but Diego Simeone will do everything in his power to stop the deal [Express]. Simeone used the £32million raised from the Costa sale to fund moves for Mario Mandžukić and Griezmann, which effectively replaced Costa’s goals. Former Bayern striker, Mandžukić, has netted a solid 12 goals in Spain this season, but Griezmann has been Atletico’s real star this term, having scored an astounding 22 goals in La Liga.
His performances this season has caught the attention of Chelsea, who like to shop in Spain, despite reports that Atletico’s Argentine boss ‘will not allow any deal to be made’, per the Express. It is also included in the report that Griezmann has a £43million release clause embedded into his contract. Beside the large fee, and Simeone’s block against any sort of business, the Express still believe Chelsea will push for a deal, and could possibly up the ante to £45million to be sure they sign Griezmann this summer.
The interesting part about Griezmann is his flexibility, to bump out wide or to lineup up top as a striker alongside Diego Costa. Compared to Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, Griezmann has scored the most goals, but Hazard has more successful take-ons and chances created, but Diego Costa leads in shot accuracy.
Griezmann’s 22 goals falls only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in Spain’s top flight this season, quite impressive for a debut season. Griezmann would add another depth to Chelsea’s attack, and with the confirmation of Didier Drogba’s departure, and Diego Costa’s fitness problems, another striker must be signed this summer.
Whether it be Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi, Charlie Austin or Christian Benteke, Chelsea’s attacking corps will have new faces. The problem was evident in the Champions League when Chelsea saw their way out in the Round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain.