Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo has backtracked over his quotes stating that Chelsea’s Diego Costa was set to return to the club.
Spanish news outlet AS published quotes attributed to Cerezo, who said that he was not prepared to discuss the future of the former Atletico striker.
He said: “I do not speak of players at other clubs.”
Cerezo’s comments were in stark contrast to a statement he allegedly made earlier on Monday.
The 68-year-old was apparently quizzed over whether Los Rojiblancos were planning to raid Chelsea to bring Costa back to Madrid.
At the time, Cerezo answered: “We like him a lot, I’ll admit.
“We are talking to the player and working on him returning to Madrid. It’s close, but I can’t say anymore.”
Costa’s future at Stamford Bridge has been thrown into doubt after the arrival of Michy Batshuayi from Marseille.
The Belgium forward was signed for £33m after the Red Devils were knocked out of Euro 2016 two weeks ago.
New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte played with two strikers while in charge of the Italian national side, but it is unclear whether he would deploy Costa and Batshuayi together in his starting eleven.
And any move that would see Costa demoted to second-choice striker would likely lead to the 27-year-old’s departure.
The Spain international joined Chelsea from Atletico in June 2014 for a fee worth around £32m.
The temperamental forward enjoyed an outstanding first campaign in London as he plundered 20 goals in just 26 league matches to help Chelsea win the Premier League title.
However, the Blues were a shadow of their former selves throughout the 2015/16 season as they lurched from one crisis to another.
Costa bagged just 16 goals in 41 games in all competitions as Chelsea finished 10th in the league standings, and endured two bouts of suspension for violent conduct throughout last term.