Another day. Another new twist in the Diego Costa’s transfer saga. There’s a feeling among the Spanish press that Costa is unhappy at Chelsea and he wants a return to Atletico Madrid. The La Liga club are desperate to get him back while the player himself wishes to be reunited with Diego Simeone.
Interestingly, most of the rumours have come from the Madrid-based media outlets. Let us a take a look at how the situation has unfolded so far:
1st April, 2016: Costa was linked with a move to Atletico. Antonio Conte, who was preparing his Italy squad for Euro 2016 had requested Roman Abrahimovic to keep Costa at the club.
6th April, 2016: Atletico president spoke about his desire to bring Costa back at Calderon, although he admitted it won’t be any easy task negotiating with Chelsea.
9th June, 2016: Atletico president confirms (for the umpteenth time) that Costa wants to leave Chelsea. Reporters keep asking him the same question and he keep on repeating the same old lines.
1st July, 2016: Atletico submitted a formal offer for Costa. The player had informally told the club that he wants to leave the London club. Probably because he is bored with the bad weather and food!
4th July, 2016: Costa one step closer to joining Atletico. The Rojiblancos were hoping to come to agreeable terms with the blues.
15th July, 2016: Cerezo again. A new quote this time. AS reports Costa has conveyed his desire to leave Chelsea. Basically nothing new. Atletico continues to keep a close eye on him but they understand it won’t be an easy task to prise him away from Stamford Bridge.
Let us take a look at what Antonio Conte has to say about Costa:
“But I spoke with him [Eden Hazard] and I’m very happy. For me I’m pleased to train a fantastic player like him and also the other players. In Chelsea, with Hazard there are many players with great talent — Diego Costa, many players.”
“It’s important for me, I repeat, next season to create the right spirit in the team and with great organisation, a great physical condition we can have a good season.”
Isn’t it absolutely clear that Chelsea want Costa to spearhead the attack next season? However, strange things have happened in the transfer window because of its unpredictable nature.
According to Spanish TV station Quarto, Costa, who earns around £185k-per-wk at Chelsea, has already handed in a ‘transfer request’ which means Chelsea are bound to discuss his move with Atletico. The player wasn’t happy with the way Chelsea were dealing his situation and he was left with no options than to take a drastic step.
The question is not whether Atletico are interested in Costa (they are and that’s why they’d lodged an official bid) – what matters here is a) whether Chelsea want to sell him and b) whether Costa is hell-bent on leaving the Blues? It will be wrong to say that Chelsea will never sell Costa this summer. Anything can happen from now and until the end of the transfer window. Costa’s situation at the club might change dramatically and the transfer could be on the cards. In that case, Chelsea would look to first sign a suitable replacement before allowing the striker to return back to Spain.