Monaco are likely to entice Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa away from a move to the Premier League as the French millionaires are readying a tax-free salary in the region of £150,000-a-week to secure his services, according to reports.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who has earmarked the 25-year-old as the man to lead their attack next summer, are reportedly keen on his signature as they are ready to pay up to £40m for the star.
The Blues are in the market for a world-class striker and the Portuguese believes that the Atletico man can lead Chelsea to title glory for years to come – the Spaniard is being seen as a direct replacement for Didier Drogba, who left the club in 2012.
However, according to the Daily Mail, Chelsea's offer could be threatened by the millions of Monaco, one of the clubs with more liquidity to undertake this type of transfers.
Monaco want to secure Costa's services this summer and are willing to pay a tax-free salary of £150,000 a week as well as trumping the Blues' £40m bid for the Spaniard, which may complicate the arrival of Costa at Stamford Bridge.
Costa, who has become one of the best strikers in the world, has a £32m buy-out clause in his contract and is expected to follow Radamel Falcao in a move away from Madrid this summer. Last summer, the Blues missed out on signing the Colombian from Atletico Madrid when the French club had a reported bid of £50m accepted for Falcao.
But Chelsea may still have options to sign Costa as Mourinho and the striker share the same agent, Jorge Mendes. However, Mendes also has a good relationship with the French club chairman, Dmitry Rybolovlev, and the promise of tax-free wages could be the key factor in Diego Costa's decision.
The striker, whose performances have been spectacular so far, has attracted the interest of some of the most powerful teams in world football such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Inter, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The Spaniard has scored 33 goals with five assists this season in all competitions.