Diego Costa has admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail that he will only join Atletico Madrid if he leaves Chelsea.
It has been reported for some time that the controversial hitman is on his way out of the Stamford Bridge exit gates.
The Spain international played no part in the Blues’ pre-season schedule and he has not yet joined up with the squad, despite the new Premier League campaign getting underway at the weekend.
It seems to have all gone sour between Costa and manager Antonio Conte, and the striker insisted to the Daily Mail that he did receive a text message from the Italian informing him that he was no longer wanted. The club have denied this.
When discussing his future, the 28-year-old made it clear that he only wants to play for Atletico if Chelsea decide to sell.
Costa played for the Spanish club between 2010 and 2014, winning four trophies in that time, including the La Liga title.
He told the Daily Mail:
“My desire is to go to Atletico. I’ve spoken to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. I said, ‘If the manager doesn’t want me, I want to go to is Atletico Madrid’.
“I have rejected other offers. They want to sell me to China or other teams. The language is better for me in Spain. If I’m off, I’m going to the club I want to go to, not the club that’s paying the most.
“Diego Simeone wants me. It is very clear. I have always had a bond with him. The fans and people love me there. They respect me.”
The striker admitted that he is willing to join the club even though he will be ineligible to play until January due to Atletico’s transfer ban.
The Blues have not had an ideal start to their title defence, as they were stunned 3-2 by Burnley at the Bridge on Saturday.
During the game, Conte lost Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas to red cards, meaning that both will miss this weekend’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
Losing Costa is not ideal for Chelsea, but Alvaro Morata’s cameo appearance on Saturday was positive, even though his goal failed to spark a comeback.
If the West London club want to get back on track, then they need to rid the dressing room of any negative energy or tension.
Even though Costa is not directly involved with the squad at the moment, the unresolved issue is a dark cloud over the club, and it will not help that he has spilled to the media.
The best thing for Chelsea to do is agree a sale this month and open a new chapter.