Chelsea consider a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Douglas Costa

But Jose Mourinho says ‘our desire is to keep the same squad’

Chelsea have sounded out Shakhtar Donetsk over the availability of their Brazilian midfielder Douglas Costa as they explore potential recruits in anticipation of losing at least one first-team player before next month's transfer deadline.

Douglas, with the Ukrainian club's squad on a tour of South America, may prove a more cost-efficient addition than Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado. The Italian club are insisting Chelsea meet the €35 million buyout clause in his contract.

Talks with the Italian club are ongoing but Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Montella has apparently threatened to quit if the Colombian is sold.

Chelsea have also spoken with Shakhtar and suggested they would be willing to pay up to €26 million to secure the 24-year-old Costa.


The Brazil international, who has been capped only twice but has dual Portuguese nationality and should qualify for a work permit, is into his fifth season at the Ukrainian club having joined from Gremio in 2010 for around €6 million.

Both Chelsea and Manchester United had scouted him as a teenager and continued to track his progress.

The player indicated this week that he would favour a switch to London. "It's a dream to play for Chelsea, a unique opportunity," he told the Brazilian newspaper, Globo Esporte.

Disappointing year

Chelsea’s interest in Cuadrado and Douglas stems from the likelihood that

Mohamed Salah

will depart Stamford Bridge for Roma this month, initially on loan until the summer when the move will be made permanent.

The Germany forward Andre Schurrle could also leave if Wolfsburg or Borussia Dortmund lodge an acceptable bid and persuade him to return to the Bundesliga.

But both players remain in Jose Mourinho’s plans for now and, as things stand, will start today’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Bradford City.

“The club doesn’t move, we don’t move, our desire is to keep the same squad,” said Mourinho. “We are happy with the players and, if possible, we don’t want to be involved in the transfer window. If we have to be it’s because somebody pushed us, with some offer .. .”

Mourinho added it would only take a “phenomenal offer” for him to part with Schurrle. “The principle is that we would like him to stay,” he concluded. Guardian Service