Chelsea striker Diego Costa still reportedly has his eye on a return to Atletico Madrid before the end of the summer, despite the insistence of new manager Antonio Conte that he will stay, and is said to be urging patience from the La Liga club in their efforts to sign a new striker.
According to AS, Costa has personally contacted Atletico boss Diego Simeone to request that the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finalists wait for him rather than press ahead with ongoing negotiations over Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro.
The suggestion is that Costa is concerned with regard to how close the €35m signing of Gameiro seems to be. Such a deal would see Atletico solve their problem without him and leave the player stuck at Stamford Bridge with increased competition for places.
Chelsea are believed to have rebuffed all attempts from Atletico to sign Costa so far.
Earlier this month Conte very clearly stated, “Diego stays with us. He is working very hard. He is very happy to work with his team-mates and with me.
“He is a fantastic player, a player with a fundamental importance, and there is no problem. He is an important player, one of the best in the world, and I am sure when he goes into our ideas he will score a lot of goals for us.”
However, the report from AS also suggests that things could still be subject to change at Chelsea. Michy Batshuayi has already arrived, while the Spanish publication notes the interest and talks with ex-Stamford Bridge player Romelu Lukaku.
Alvaro Morata also remains linked with the former Premier League champions and the speculation is that if another striker does indeed join the club it would put Costa in a position that makes it easier to leave.
But, if that is to be the case, he obviously won’t have the chance to go to Atletico if Gameiro is already there.
To continue the discussion on Twitter follow @jamiespencer155