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Chelsea must meet asking prices, says Atletico chief

ESPN staff
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Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin says Chelsea will have to pay full price if they want to poach the La Liga champions' stars.

Chelsea are closing in on striker Diego Costa and full-back Filipe Luis, who have release clauses of £32 million and £19 million respectively.

Home-grown midfielder Koke, a player on Manchester United's radar, is valued at almost £50 million by the club.

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Cesc Fabregas was subject of speculation linking him to Manchester United last summer © AP
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Given Atletico are more than £400 million in debt, and having cut a strict deal with the Spanish government over huge tax arrears, it has been widely assumed that the club would look to cash in this summer on at least some of its most saleable assets.

But Gil Marin, who recently revealed that he had mortgaged his own house as collateral on a club loan, insisted in his end of season review that he was under no pressure to raise funds and would prefer to hang on to his best players.

"Fortunately this club does not need to sell any of its players," he said in a statement which could be interpreted as a negotiating position. "Those who do not want to continue with us we can only go along with their release clause in their contracts.

"We are not going to negotiate with other clubs about the departure of players we want to stay in our team. We do not want, nor do we need, to sell any player. Whoever wants to leave Atletico must do so against the wishes of Atletico."

Gil Marin said some players would feel they deserved pay rises after winning the La Liga title and reaching the Champions League final, and Atletico's directors were prepared to discuss new deals.

"We understand the interest of clubs in our players, after the great season we have had," Gil Marin said. "We also understand that these players want to improve [their contracts], and we are prepared to improve those conditions, within our own possibilities."

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