The reason Liverpool missed out on the signing off Diego Costa

Powerhouse: Diego Costa
Powerhouse: Diego Costa

Diego Costa was close to signing for rivals Liverpool when Jose Mourinho intervened, telling Atletico that Chelsea would offer them more money the following year.

A new biography on 'The Special One' details the circumstances surrounding Chelsea's courting of Costa. 

The striker was granted Spanish nationality in the summer of 2013, and Atletico had another space for a non-national place in their squad. However, this meant Costa immediately became an easier target for those eager for his services. 

Liverpool drew quickest, and offered €25m for the Brazilian which triggered a release clause in his contract.

However, Jose Mourinho had also identified Costa as a primary target.

He had been keeping an eye on him since his time at Braga and was impressed by his presence up front. 

Unfortunately, the newly-returned Chelsea manager needed to persuade his chairman to accelerate his plans for rebuilding the squad. The process was gradual and Liverpool were expected to make further advances in their pursuit of the powerhouse. 

Mourinho connived, and determined to do anything within his power to delay or divert Costa's transfer to Liverpool. 

He told Atletico to turn down Liverpool and the following season Chelsea would offer a significantly higher fee for him. 

Costa signed an extension on his contract and the following year signed for Chelsea, helping them go on to win the league in his first season.

Diego Costa: The Art of War'  is out now.