Diego Costa has been included in Chelsea’s 25-man squad for the Premier League, after the club failed to agree a deal which would see him move back to Atletico Madrid.
The Spain international has spent the summer firing shots at his manager Antonio Conte from his family home in Brazil, but the Italian has given the pair the option for reconciliation between now and the season’s second registration period opening in January.
Conte informed Costa by text early in the summer that he would be surplus to requirements by the team for the coming season, with the fiery forward taking the situation public shortly afterwards.
Atletico Madrid’s ban on registering players until January is believed to have had an impact on any potential move for Costa, with Diego Simeone’s side trying – and failing – to sort out a situation which would see Costa move briefly to another top club in order to keep playing football before joining them in four months’ time.
Asked earlier in the transfer window if, given Costa’s comments, whether he would consider him for a return to first-team action if he returned to London Conte said: “No. I’m not interested to continue this issue. I repeat: for me, is in the past.”
A Chelsea spokesman added: “Antonio’s not wanting to comment further on this subject and neither are the club.“Our position is clear. I don’t think that’s something we’ll get into publicly. As a Chelsea player we’ve said he should return to Chelsea and that’s where we’ll leave it.”
Meanwhile, Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois took the opportunity to mock Gerard Pique’s now-infamous ‘se queda’ (he stays) tweet which blew up in his face when Neymar did, in fact, decide not to stay at Barcelona.