Although the English transfer window closed last night, the Spanish one remains open for another 24 hours and the Spain striker’s representatives are working hard to end the long-running saga.
Costa has been AWOL in his native Brazil for nearly seven weeks in an attempt to force through a move to his former club and he recently said he thought it was “disrespectful” that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had texted him to inform him that he was no longer wanted. Last week, the 28-year-old also accused the club of treating him “like a criminal”.
Costa, who would cost £41m, plus add-ons, will only consider moving back to Atletico – the club he left for Chelsea in 2014 for £32m – but any move is complicated by the fact that Diego Simeone’s side are banned by FIFA from signing players until January, meaning any move would mean him playing on loan elsewhere until then.
Despite missing out on Conte targets Fernando Llorente, who opted to join rivals Spurs, and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, Chelsea did add to their ranks, signing Danny Drinkwater from Leicester for £35m and defender Davide Zappacosta from Torino.
England midfielder Drinkwater, 27, was a key part of the Leicester side that won the League in 2016, playing in 35 of the club’s 38 games and forming an impressive midfield partnership with N’Golo Kante, who joined Chelsea 14 months ago.
Drinkwater, who has yet to play this season because of a thigh injury, said: “I’m delighted to be a Chelsea player and can’t wait to get started.
“It has been a long journey to get here but I am very happy and am looking forward to helping the club win more trophies.”
Premier League transfer window: The key moves
The Blues, who had pursued the midfielder for most of the summer, finally had a third bid accepted ahead of last night’s transfer deadline. Leicester had previously rejected a £23m bid but Chelsea managed to get the deal over the line at the last minute.
Chelsea’s technical director, Michael Emenalo, insisted Drinkwater’s experience would prove vital, saying: “Danny is not only a Premier League winner but also has Champions League experience, which will be invaluable for us this season.
“He is a typically combative English midfielder with a cultured passing technique and his arrival significantly strengthens our midfield options.”
In pictures | Chelsea transfer signings 2017-18
1/6 Alvaro Morata
(Real Madrid, undisclosed)
2/6 Danny Drinkwater
Chelsea FC via Getty Images
3/6 Davide Zappacosta
Chelsea FC via Getty Images
4/6 Tiemoue Bakayoko
5/6 Antonio Rudiger
6/6 Willy Caballero
(Manchester City, free)
Zappacosta began his career at Italian fourth-tier side Isola Liri but has been capped four times by Italy, with Blues boss Conte handing him his first call-up to the national squad in May 2016.
The 25-year-old full-back joined Torino from Atalanta in 2015 and made 29 appearances in Serie A last season.
“I hope I can show my quality to the coach, my team-mates and the supporters,” said Zappacosta, who cost £23m, rising to £27m with add-ons.