Diego Costa has a plan for Antonio Conte in the tunnel ahead of Chelsea return

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He took his time but - at long last - Diego Costa is once again an Atletico Madrid player.

Having been told over text by Antonio Conte that his Chelsea career was in tatters, the Spaniard's hopes of a return to Spain were strung out into a marathon transfer saga. Nevertheless, both parties have finally got their wish and to the tune of £57 million.

In the eyes of most fans and pundits, Conte's decision was rather harsh. Costa romped his way to the club Golden Boot in all three seasons he spent in west London and was a vital protagonist in two title wins.

Nevertheless, Costa certainly brings his fair share of emotional baggage with controversy tailing his every move in English football. This was no more apparent than when he first came to blows with Conte in January.

Chelsea have an instant replacement in Alvaro Morata who has effortlessly settled into the Premier League. His hat-trick at the Bet365 Stadium elevated his record with the Blues to six goals in just five appearances.

As for Costa, the 28-year-old will slide into an attacking arsenal that already boasts Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres. That is - of course - when Atletico's transfer ban expires in the New Year.

The Spaniard won't have to wait as long for his Chelsea return, as he will his third Atletico debut, however. Costa is set to be unveiled at the Wanda Metropolitano ahead of the visit of the Blues.

It begs the question as to how the 28-year-old will interact with Conte. Costa always enjoyed a brilliant relationship with his teammates but even his recent comments regarding his old boss have done little to thaw the tensions.

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Atletico's new signing isn't planning to avoid the Italian, though, and - according to the Mirror - is hoping to wait for Conte in the tunnel after the game.

He sees the gesture as a test to see whether the Chelsea manager really has buried the hatchet. A face-to-face meeting would truly test their commitment to their words.

Furthermore, in waiting behind, it would also allow Costa the chance to bid a final goodbye to his teammates and the club staff. After all, the likes of Pedro, Willian and Cesc Fabregas all maintained contact with the forward even during his Brazilian exile.

All that considered, the ball is in Conte's court as to how he takes the gesture. 

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It's difficult to see the Italian acting too calm if he's greeted by Costa after an Atletico hammering, mind.

Do you think Antonio Conte was right to sell Diego Costa this summer? Have your say in the comments section below.

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