According to reports in the Daily Mirror, Chelsea have opened talks with Atletico Madrid over a £50m deal for striker Diego Costa.
Well, Blues manager Antonio Conte told the 28-year-old by text message that he is no longer part of his plans and can leave this summer, and the Daily Mirror says the Spaniard’s former club Atletico Madrid are interested in bringing him back to La Liga.
However, the Spanish side are currently under a transfer ban and can’t officially sign any players until the January transfer window, meaning that even if they did agree a deal with Chelsea, Costa wouldn’t be able to play for them until 2018.
Atletico would loan the striker out for the first half of next season in order to make sure he had the match fitness on being registered at the start of what is a World Cup year.
It seems unlikely considering they wouldn’t be able to play him until January at the earliest, and Chelsea initially feared that Conte’s text message may have knocked millions of pounds off of his price tag with other clubs knowing they want rid.
However, the Blues are determined to get a respectable fee for a player that scored 20 Premier League goals last term and was an influential part of the side that eventually cruised to the title.
It would take a huge backtrack from Conte now for Costa to have any future at Stamford Bridge, and it appears the Italian and the club are actively seeking a replacement having been linked with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku in recent weeks as well as Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski on Wednesday.
He certainly will be.
While he may have caused issues at times, there is no doubt that Costa has been an integral figure for Chelsea during his time in west London.
His hold-up play to bring his teammates into the game, his work-rate to never give defenders a second to breathe and his goalscoring ability mean that he will be difficult to replace.
Well, Chelsea are obviously aiming high for their initial negotiations with Atletico for Costa, but with the La Liga outfit knowing they want the Spaniard out – preferably before pre-season – they will be unwilling to meet the £50m price tag.