Diego Costa has made his intentions clear - he has no plans to return to Chelsea and play for the club ever again.
You could argue that Antonio Conte landed himself in this mess, after the text message he sent to the Spanish international quickly spread, claiming that Costa was surplus to requirements.
That saga perhaps triggered the summer transfer window headache, with the Italian failing to land several of his top targets ranging from Romelu Lukaku to Alex Sandro, while his relationship with the Chelsea board has also been under the microscope in recent weeks.
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The arrival of Alvaro Morata all but confirmed the controversial 28-year-old’s exit, but the Stamford Bridge side still expect him to turn up to training.
Costa is currently AWOL at his family home in Brazil, and has failed to return to training at the club’s request and they plan on fining him a staggering £300,000 every fortnight for every unauthorised absence.
Costa is prepared to get his lawyers involved, and this situation could get even uglier – and he’s already revealed that Atletico Madrid is his next destination.
His former club are interested in bringing him back to the Spanish capital, and The Sun has now revealed how much Los Rojiblancos are prepared to offer the Blues to secure Costa’s services.
Chelsea don’t want to let go of him cheaply, and are hoping to get at least £50 million from him, however, Atletico are confident that they’ll accept the £30 million they plan on bidding.
Even if they do sign him, he won’t be able to play until January 2018 because of a transfer ban, and two options could see him either train on his own or join a club on a six-month loan deal.
Atletico, though, are ready to take this right to the end of the window to make Chelsea sweat, with just under two weeks remaining until the window shuts.
Diego Simeone knows that Costa’s value continues to decrease as this saga goes on, and each new development means Chelsea are more prone to selling him in a cut-price deal, as he doesn’t plan on coming back.
If this plan works, Chelsea are looking at taking a £20 million hit.
Conte is probably wishing that the £76 million offer from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian was accepted earlier this year.
The club would have made more than double than what they could end up selling him for, and they would have avoided this distraction which will have had a major impact on their preparations in pre-season.
Will Atletico Madrid sign Diego Costa this summer? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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