Diego Costa will refuse to leave Chelsea until Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban is over, according to the Daily Star.
Everyone knows by now that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reportedly not figured Costa into his plans for next season.
However, he may have to as the Daily Star claims that the controversial striker is prepared to dig his heels in regarding a transfer.
The publication states that the 28-year-old wants to return to his former club in Spain, but may have to wait until January due to Atletico’s ban.
The La Liga outfit are allowed to sign players in the summer window, but are prohibited from registering them until January 2018, which means that if Costa joined Atletico now, he would miss the first five months of the season.
AC Milan and Juventus are also believed to be keen on the forward, but the Daily Star reports that Costa is not interested in a switch to Italy.
If Costa refuses to leave Chelsea until January, then Conte will have to decide whether to play him for the first half of the season, or leave him out.
From the manager’s point of view, if he feels that the Spain international is a disruptive figure already, then it would not be wise to play him regularly.
However, it will also depend on whether the club have been able to buy a replacement who will guarantee goals in Costa’s absence.
From the player’s perspective, he will want to get enough minutes on the pitch to ensure that he is ready to jump into the team at Atletico.
Keeping harmony in the group will be a big priority for Conte, so if Costa is a threat to that, there could be trouble ahead.