Football

Atletico Madrid have given Diego Costa instructions to earn January move

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Imagine being a fly on the wall when Diego Costa is reunited with Antonio Conte.

The Italian informed the unhappy striker that he was not part of his plans with a text message at the end of last season, months after they fell out amid interest from the Chinese Super League.

Despite the Spanish international having top scored for the Blues for each of the past three seasons, Conte has been more than happy to dispense with him and bring in Alvaro Morata in his place.

The only difficulty is that Costa hasn't actually left.

Atletico Madrid are very interested in a reunion with the former Rojiblancos star, but a transfer embargo means they can't register new players until January 2018.

Long-term, it's almost unthinkable that the 28-year-old has any future at Stamford Bridge, though he has been included in their 25-man Premier League squad.

Now that he's in limbo between now and the January transfer window, all he can do is wait for Atleti's ban to be lifted so they can offer him an escape route.

What about in the meantime? According to the Daily Mail, Atletico have told Costa he needs to return to Chelsea - after insisting he wouldn't go back there - and make amends.

Atleti are concerned 

There are two reasons why Diego Simeone and co. are keen for him to make peace. Firstly, they believe it will help soften Chelsea's position after they refused to budge on their £50million+ valuation of the forward.

He's even been encouraged to think about apologising, whether that's in private or by issuing a public statement. At the very least, he needs to get back on good enough terms so he can use the training facilities at Cobham.

The La Liga outfit's second concern is that he won't be fit if he remains in hometown Lagarto, even if he is working with a personal trainer.

The next round of international matches in October have been set as a target for him to get match-fit by. If a potential return to the Spanish capital isn't enough of an incentive, he also needs to think about his career with La Roja.

The World Cup is less than a year away and he was left out of the squad for the recent qualifiers.

Costa doesn't seem to listen to many people, but it'll be interesting to see if he heeds Atleti's advice on this one.

Should Chelsea play Costa before he leaves? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Fernando Torres
Football
Chelsea
Diego Costa
La Liga

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