Diego Costa close to securing January exit from Chelsea – but not to China

Antoine Griezmann has put pen-to-paper on a new deal with Atletico Madrid, putting to bed one of the hottest transfer rumours of recent times, and reports indicate that the Spanish club are already looking to secure more top class attacking talent.

France international Griezmann has been a long-term target for some of Europe’s top clubs, with interest heating up after his fantastic performances at the European Championships in 2016.

He is undoubtedly a world-class player, capable of breaking into almost any team on the planet, and with Atletico failing to win any silverware this season the talk was that he would be on his way out of the club during the summer transfer window.

Manchester United have done nothing to hide their interest in the 26-year-old, and in recent weeks it was looking increasingly likely that he would be joining compatriots Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial at Old Trafford.

But the hopes of United fans were crushed as it was revealed he has decided to accept the offer put on the table three weeks ago by his current employers, a deal which sees him up his wages again only three months after signing his last improved contract.

He reaffirmed his commitment to the club by tweeting: “Now more than ever. Atletico. All of us together.”

The announcement comes in the wake of confirmation that a transfer embargo will prevent Atletico from signing any players in the upcoming transfer window.

It’s a huge statement of intent for the club, and it’s believed the retention of Greizmann will boost their chances of attracting some big names come January, with Chelsea’s Diego Costa, Sevilla’s Vitolo and Malaga’s former Barcelona forward Sandro all high on their wish list, according to AS.

The Costa deal, in fact, already looks highly likely, as he has previously stated Atleti are the only club who could tempt him away from Chelsea, with many outlets claiming that a deal is already on the cards.

That spells bad news for Chelsea, who may have been beaten to the punch in their pursuit of Romelu Lukaku as a first-choice replacement for Costa, with Manchester United reportedly placing a bid for the Everton hitman which could be worth a staggering £90m.

Despite winning the title, it’s a worrying time to be a Chelsea fan, as United’s rumoured £100m deal for Gareth Bale could pave the way for Real Madrid to go after their star man Eden Hazard.

Fans of the Stamford Bridge club will be praying for something concrete after rumours emerged that Costa could sign a new deal in the near future.

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