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Alvaro Morata signing means Costa’s time at Chelsea is over

FILE - A Saturday May 6, 2017 file photo of Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata , center, celebrating scoring his goal against Granada during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Granada and Real Madrid in Granada, Spain. Chelsea is set to strengthen its attacking options for its Premier League title defense by signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. The London club said Wednesday, July 19, 2017, it has agreed terms with Madrid to sign the 24-year-old striker. (AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor, File)
Daniel Tejedor/AP photo

Chelsea is expected to complete a deal for Alvaro Morata on Thursday as the Spaniard is in London to complete his medical. Morata’s arrival from Real Madrid will by all accounts mean the end for Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge.

Morata, 24, will reportedly cost Chelsea an initial transfer fee of £58 million, which could rise to £70 million. The Spanish international is expected to sign a five-year contract after passing his medical. The club has also, according to the Independent, set a price of £44 million for Costa, who has been the focal point in its attack for the last three seasons. Costa, who was born in Brazil but represents Spain on the international level, has won two Premier League titles during his time with the club, and each time he was notched 20 league goals.

Costa, 28, has shown on numerous occasions that he’s a hot head, and there have been several incidents on the field during his time in England ending with him getting a couple of suspensions. It now looks as if his time with the club is coming to an end, as Morata is being brought in to be the starting option up front. Chelsea is reportedly on the hunt for another striking option to play in a backup role to Morata.

It will be a tough task for Morata to produce at the same rate as Costa, who has 52 goals in 89 Premier League outings. Morata returned to Real Madrid last summer after spending two seasons in Serie A with Italian giant Juventus. His play for Juve impressed Real Madrid, which opted to use the buy-back clause it had negotiated into the deal with the Italians when he left in 2014. Last season, Morata scored 15 goals in 26 league appearances, and 20 goals in 43 games in all competitions.

It remains to be seen how quickly Morata can adjust to the physicality of the Premier League. Many lauded strikers come in from throughout Europe, only to find that the Premier League is like no other league. His goals per minute were impressive last season, as only Lionel Messi had a better ratio in La Liga. Morata scored a goal every 89 minutes, but his 15 league goals were a personal best, so there will be a lot of pressure on him to continue to grow at Chelsea.

The future surrounding Costa is a bit murky. He has been linked with a move back to his former club Atletico Madrid, but the club is currently under a transfer ban by FIFA, which means it can’t register any new players until January. The club could still buy him now, but then he would have to wait until the new year before playing. He has also been linked to a move to China, but it seems like Costa would prefer to return to Atletico as he was recently seen in a video with an Atletico shirt on.

Costa was left off the Chelsea squad that went to Asia for a preseason tour, and rumors circulated the player has had a falling out with manager Antonio Conte.

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