LONDON - The Blues have confirmed they have reached agreement with Atletico Madrid over the sale of Diego Costa, with the Spain striker expected to complete his return to La Liga subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical.
This 28 year old striker has yet to feature for the Premier League champions this season after being told he was not part of Antonio Conte’s plans. But despite Atletico being subjected to a transfer ban, a statement from Chelsea on Thursday said Costa is set to rejoin the Spanish club for a fee believed to be in the region of £57m three years after he moved to London for £32m.
“Chelsea Football Club has today agreed terms with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Diego Costa. The transfer will be subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical,” said the statement.
A further statement from Atletico confirmed Costa has been given permission to travel to Spain for his medical and to discuss personal terms.
“Atletico Madrid and Chelsea have reached an initial agreement for the transfer of Diego Costa. The agreement is pending the formalisation of the contract between our club and the Spanish international forward. The English club has authorised Diego Costa to travel to Madrid in the coming days to undergo medical tests and settle his contract with our club,” it said.
Costa’s last game for Chelsea was May’s FA Cup final loss to Arsenal, when he scored the last of his 59 goals.
His protracted exit from Stamford Bridge has been a fractious one. Relations with Conte were damaged in January when Costa reportedly had his head turned by a big money offer from the Chinese Super League which soon evaporated. However Conte and Chelsea, together with the striker and his agent, Jorge Mendes, agreed Costa could leave that summer.
That version of events is disputed by Costa, who argued Conte was forcing him out after the Italian sent a text message saying the player was surplus to requirements, despite having two years remaining on his contract. Costa was granted an additional summer break, missing the pre-season tour to Asia, but then extended his exile as relations with Chelsea deteriorated further and lawyers became involved.
Costa’s availability had alerted numerous clubs but he was only interested in going to Atlético to be reunited with their head coach, Diego Simeone.