Diego Costa has not returned to London to hold vital talks with Chelsea over his ongoing self-imposed strike, according to sources close to the club.
The striker has been missing in action for the reigning Premier league champions ever since he was told by manager Antonio Conte that he was no longer part of the first-team set up at Stamford Bridge.
Reports in Spain had alleged that Costa had returned to the UK to accept his punishment from the Blues in a bid to force through a transfer back to Atletico Madrid, but the Daily Mirror has now claimed that such speculation is unfounded.
Costa exiled himself from Chelsea’s Cobham training base after he received a text message from Conte informing him that he would not be part of the Italian’s plans moving into the new campaign.
The 29-year-old has since remained in South America despite numerous attempts – and threats – from the Londoners to hand him a substantial fine and refusal to sanction a dream return back to Spain with Atletico.
Spanish news outlet Marca reported on Tuesday that Costa was weighing up whether to fly back to the UK and receive his slaps on the wrist for his continued absence.
Those claims were backed up by the Telegraph, who also reported that Costa’s Chelsea team mates believed he was on the verge of returning to London after they supposedly called on him to call off his strike.
Costa, who is not thought to have told Chelsea himself that he is ready to sit down and talk, still resides halfway across the globe though, with club sources informing the Mirror that there are no planned face-to-face meetings to sort out his future.
Atletico were able to sign Costa in the summer transfer window but, due to their currently enforced transfer embargo, are unable to register new players until January 2018.
Los Rojiblancos had until last Friday to try and convince Chelsea to sell him back to them, before loaning him out to build up his match fitness ahead of a January return, but the Blues denied Costa the chance to do so as part of his punishment for his training no-show.