Andre Villas-Boas rules out Marseille move for free agent Diego Costa

Andre Villas-Boas reveals Diego Costa was offered to him in an anonymous WhatsApp message… but he thought it was a JOKE with Marseille unable to afford the striker’s £14m-a-year wages

Andre Villas-Boas has ruled Marseille out of the race to sign Diego Costa – citing the Spain striker’s enormous wage demands.

Former Chelsea striker Costa, 32, is a free agent after Atletico Madrid released him from his £270,000-a-week contract six months early and is searching for a new club.

Premier League side Wolves have been linked with Costa and Marseille were also mentioned. But their manager Villas-Boas emphatically ruled out any chance of a move for him.

Andre Villas-Boas rules out Marseille move for free agent Diego Costa

Diego Costa won’t be moving to Marseille after their manager Andre Villas-Boas admitted the club couldn’t afford his £270,000-a-week wages

Andre Villas-Boas rules out Marseille move for free agent Diego Costa

Villas-Boas said he thought rumours linking Marseille with free agent Costa were a joke

‘First of all, Diego Costa earns €16million (£14m) gross every year. It’s the first thing that we should recognise,’ the Marseille boss said.

‘I received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number telling me that Diego Costa wanted to come to OM. I thought it was a joke.

‘He’s one of the best strikers in the world, [but we are] going to look for something else. We cannot pay his salary.’

After scoring 59 goals in 120 games for Chelsea over three seasons, Costa returned to Atletico Madrid in 2017. But his second spell there hasn’t been as profitable as his first, with 19 goals in 81 games.

Andre Villas-Boas rules out Marseille move for free agent Diego Costa

Costa (above) is a free agent after terminating his contract at Atletico Madrid last month

Andre Villas-Boas rules out Marseille move for free agent Diego Costa

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo (left) is in the market for striker with Raul Jimenez (right) out

With Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in need of firepower in the absence of Raul Jimenez, who suffered a fractured skull, Wolves have been linked with a move for free agent Costa.

The striker helped Diego Simeone’s Atletico win La Liga and reach the Champions League final in 2014 before moving to Stamford Bridge later that year for £32million.

Costa won the Premier League in his first and last seasons at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte respectively, finishing as the Blues’ top scorer in each of those campaigns.

Costa, who was born in Brazil, also has 10 goals in 24 international appearances for Spain.

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