Atletico Madrid are planning to use a billionaire Chinese shareholder to sign Chelsea striker Diego Costa, according to the London Evening Standard.
Atletico are banned from signing players until January 2018, while Costa was reportedly told he had no Blues future via text by manager Antonio Conte, and the Spain international looks set to leave this summer.
However, with Atletico still banned from signing players, the Spanish club are considering using billionaire Chinese shareholder Wang Jianlin to engineer a temporary move to the Far East before the La Liga club make a move in January.
Jianlin is believed to have good contacts with clubs in the Chinese Super League, who have expressed an interest in Costa’s in the months since Tianjin Quanjian £76m bid in January, which caused Costa to be dropped from Chelsea’s team.
Jianlin is the founder of the Dalian Wanda Group which has a 20% stake in Atletico Madrid, who believe they can persuade Costa to move to China temporarily before linking up with the team in January.
Atletico are also planning to deploy a similar plan for Sevilla winger Vitolo, allowing him to play at Las Palmas for the first half of next season.
During Costa’s three seasons at Chelsea the striker has helped the Stamford Bridge club win two Premier League titles, scoring 58 goals in all competitions for Conte’s side.
AC Milan are also said to be interested in Costa, with the Serie A side prepared to bid up to £40m for the 28-year-old.