Morata? Muller? The race to replace Costa at Chelsea begins

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They may not have needed him last night in defeating Leicester 3-0, but Chelsea will need to replace Diego Costa swiftly, should the Spaniard move to China.

Dropped for the Foxes clash after a reported row in training – thanks to a megabucks offer from the east – it remains to be seen how this situation plays out.

But boss Antonio Conte isn’t going to be wrong-footed, and the weekend’s press have been busy surmising who the Blues coach might turn to.

Alvaro Morata is a name cropping up on a regular basis, and despite all his talents, the 24-year-old continues to be stuck on the fringes of the Real Madrid first team.

The former Juventus man has started just six times in La Liga for Zinedine Zidane this season, but with nine goals and four assists in all competitions, there’s no doubting the Spaniard’s quality.

Valued at £34m by transfermarkt.co.uk, Real were widely reported to be parting company with Morata last summer, so it’s certainly plausible the Spanish giants might cash in this month.

Another name cropping up this weekend is Thomas Muller, who would likely become Chelsea’s most expensive signing, should a deal go ahead.

With transfermarkt.co.uk slapping almost £64m on the German’s head, and a contract with Bayern Munich running until 2021, Paul Pogba’s £89m world-record fee could be under pressure.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the world, signing Muller would go a long way to filling a Diego Costa-shaped hole.

Earlier this week, the bookies made it just 5/4 that Costa would join the Chinese Super League before January’s transfer window came to a close.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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