Chelsea risk being gazumped by AS Monaco in the battle for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. The Mail on Sunday says Monaco are offering a tax-free salary understood to be £150,000 a week as well as trumping a £40million bid.

The 25-year-old striker, who has declared international allegiance to Spain rather than his native Brazil, is the man most wanted by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, whose side went back to the top of the Premier League on Saturday night after a 3-0 win over Stoke at Stamford Bridge.

The move by Monaco, who outbid Chelsea for Atletico striker Radamel Falcao last summer, demonstrates how continental clubs are now competing with England's big spenders.

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