NAIJACOADED SPORTY: Chelsea given Diego Costa transfer incentive after player free agent list revealed
The long summer transfer window might be over, but it will come as little shock that clubs will already be plotting their ongoing plans.
Along with potential targets Chelsea could pursue, with RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol reportedly one the club will return to at a future date, the potential to pick up free agents is also a possibility, with those who did not find a new destination this summer.
A list has been written up, including the players who were left out of contract and were not picked up by anyone before the deadline passed on Thursday evening.
Marcelo, Juan Mata, Jason Denayer, Ross Barkley, Ben Arfa, Zagadou, Nolito, Diego Costa, Karius, Daniel Sturridge, Zaza, Mangala, Danny Drinkwater, Feghouli and Aaron Lennon are among them.
It is hard not to notice the Chelsea influence in this list, with Drinkwater and Barkley included after leaving the club this summer, with Drinkwater coming to the end of his deal, whilst Barkley and the Blues terminated his contract by mutual consent.
A name that stands out is former striker Diego Costa, a player who contributed hugely to two Premier League title-winning seasons in 2014/15 and 2016/17 before returning to Atletico Madrid, the club he signed from, for £35m.
The search to find a goalscorer with Costa’s ruthlessness goes on in west London, although deadline day signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may go a long way to doing just that.