Rumours that Diego Costa could leave Chelsea in the transfer window never transpired to have a lot of substance.
They were quickly put to bed, and the Spain international set about working under new manager Antonio Conte.
With two goals and one assist in three league games, Costa is in fine form and looks set to challenge for the Premier League Golden Boot.
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Those transfer rumours, which surfaced in July, suggested he could return to the club Chelsea signed him from, Atletico Madrid.
And the 27-year-old has admitted in an interview with Spanish television that he did in fact wish to return to his former stomping ground.
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Madrid on the mind
Costa was a star in Spain, scoring 36 goals in 52 appearances in his last season at the club and collecting a La Liga winners medal along the way. Those memorable two years must have been on his mind last year, when he endured a rather disappointing campaign at Stamford Bridge.
His admission that he wanted to return to the Vicente Calderon won’t please all Chelsea fans, but you’ve got to admire his honesty.
“I wished I could go back to Atletico, I'm not going to lie,” Costa told Movistar Plus, per the Daily Mail. “Everyone knows what happened to me there [England], with the language, the weather and everything. But I can't complain because I'm a boy whom the fans love, at Chelsea they respect me.
“I had the chance to go back but I couldn't, because of a few details. I'm grateful to the people at Atletico, to Cholo [Diego Simeone] especially, who has always put his confidence in me.
“Now I am at Chelsea, I'm doing well, the league has started and I'm focused on that. Things are how they are.
“I hope that Atletico do very well, like last season but this time win titles. I want the best for them, I always feel for them, but I have to do my work at Chelsea.”
Chelsea fans react
Costa’s start to the season shows that he is fully fixed on helping Chelsea win the title. And he doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers along the way.
The striker has a reputation for getting caught up in controversy - he could have been sent off in Chelsea’s first two games. But he has no signs of changing his ways.
Costa was left out of Spain’s squad for Euro 2016 but his exclusion wasn’t enough for him to reconsider his actions.
“If I didn't get to go to the Euros because of my character, I wouldn't join up with the Spanish national team again, because I will not change my way of playing,” he added.
“I am like this, with my character, and it's that which helps me win games. For Del Bosque I only have words of thanks. He didn't call me up for the Euros in France, but I'm not asking for an explanation.”