Thursday Kickoff: Costa completes Chelsea medical; Pique claims Fabregas deal is done; and more

DiegoCostaAtleticoMadrid1-ChelseaUCL2014 (Getty)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite injury concerns plaguing his Champions League final performance and upcoming World Cup debut, Diego Costa has reportedly passed his all-important medical.

The 25-year-old Spanish striker has reportedly been cleared by Chelsea doctors ahead of a £32 million move to London from Atletico Madrid.

A deal for Costa is expected to be wrapped up in the near future. According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Costa’s move to Chelsea is being delayed until June 30 so Atletico’s transfer income can be counted in the next tax year.

Costa is expected to be Spain’s top striker at the upcoming World Cup, but injuries have left his status for the tournament in doubt. The 25-year-old forward scored 27 league goals for Atleti en route for the club’s first league title since 1995-96.

Here are some more stories to kickoff your Thursday morning:

 FABREGAS DEAL DONE ACCORDING TO PIQUE

Despite being one of the more sturdy defenders in football, Gerard Pique might have let it slip.

The Barcelona defender revealed that current Barca teammate Cesc Fabregas will leave the Camp Nou over the summer in a big money deal.

“We have to defend Cesc a little,” Pique whispered to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque at a press conference yesterday. “He told me it’s done. He’s off, €33m he said to me.”

The 27-year-old defender  also stated that he hopes Barcelona find a way to hold on to Fabregas, as he believes the former Arsenal star has been treated unfairly.

“I really like Cesc and I know he is going through a tough time because the club don’t appreciate him as much as they should,” said Pique. He is one of those players who would be first-choice at any other club in the world, the star of the team. Despite that, he is finding it harder at Barca.

“I don’t know what he is going to do; we haven’t spoken about that.I hope he stays, because if you look at his stats this season, he is our highest-scoring midfielder and the one with the most assists. Of course I want him to stay with us.”

BALLACK CONCERNED WITH OZIL

With silver and bronze World Cup performances to his name, Michael Ballack knows quite a big about German soccer and, despite being among this year’s favorites, the former German midfielder is “concerned”.

The former Bayer Leverkusen star says he expects more of current Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil in the upcoming tournament, as Ballack has been left unimpressed by Ozil’s club performances.

“He has done well for Germany and he played well during the qualifying campaign but in the last few months – since his move to Arsenal – he has not been the same player, in terms of his confidence, that we used to see in the national team,” Ballack said according to The Daily Mail. “I don’t know whether the Arsenal move has affected him because he was untouchable and in Germany we still expect him to be one of our best players. As one of our best players he has to take more responsibility, and we expect more from him at the moment. Hopefully, when the World Cup starts, we will see a different player.

“I saw him play for the national team at the weekend and I was not surprised, not scared, but a little bit concerned, by his performances.”

QUICK KICKS

England’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will undergo tests on his injured knee Thursday to determine World Cup future. (REPORT)

Brazil centerback Thiago Silva concerned with defending “killer” Samuel Eto’o in group stage clash. (REPORT)

Liverpool agree to deal with Bayer Leverkusen to acquire midfielder Emre Can. (REPORT)

The agent of Bacary Sagna revealed that the former Arsenal defender is headed to Manchester City. (REPORT)

How do you think Costa will fare at Chelsea? Should Barcelona sell Fabregas? Does Ballack have reason to be concerned?

Share your thoughts below.

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4 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Costa completes Chelsea medical; Pique claims Fabregas deal is done; and more

  1. Raymon says:

    So when are we gonna see a story about lost productivity in the office in the days leading up to and including the WC? Guys neglecting their families….forgetting to eat, etc.

    • Sly says:

      How much toilets flush at half time diminishing the water capacity at every major american city.

      I personally cannot wait for the driving through Rio videos on youtibe while brazil is playing to see empty streets.

  2. CplDaniel says:

    Arsenal has become just a talent farm for Manchester City.

  3. franco says:

    Dafuq???
    What does Zlatan to MLS have to do with this “Thursday Kickoff”?
    You write at the end- ” Do you think we’ll ever see Zlatan in MLS?” as if that was mentioned at all in the article. Jeez the sloppiness from such a good site. Come on. Y’all are better than this!