Costa is set to join Chelsea for a fee of close to £50million, with Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone admitting he is powerless to keep the striker and hinting there may be a swap deal for Fernando Torres in the pipeline.

Arsenal made enquiries about Costa in January but got nowhere, with Atletico refusing to sell given his importance to their title fight and Champions League campaign.

Now the focus is on Bayern Munich striker Mandzukic, 27, who has scored 24 goals this season but is not a regular starter and whose place at the Allianz is further threatened by the arrival of Poland striker Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Bayern are insistent that the Croatia striker, whose contract expires in 2016, is a vital player for them and not for sale, but a bid in excess of £20m may tempt them to sell to allow Pep Guardiola to rebuild over the summer.

Chelsea will also be rebuilding and Simeone yesterday gave his broadest hint yet that Costa will be heading to Stamford Bridge.

The Brazil-born Spain international has scored 33 goals in 37 La Liga and Champions League games this season. Chelsea's current striking trio, Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o, have managed only 25 between the three of them.

Costa suffered a deep cut just below his knee in scoring Atletico's second goal in the 2-0 victory over Getafe at the weekend, but is expected to recover in time to face Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final. The first leg is in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.