Antonio Conte made it clear to Costa earlier this summer that he was not in his plans for next season, while the Spain international has long been keen to return to his former club Atletico Madrid.
However, Chelsea are insistent that that will not force them to let the 28-year-old leave for below his market value, which they believe to be around £60m.
Costa on how Conte told him he was leaving
‘I’m going to be honest, the other day, Conte sent me a message saying I am not in his plans for Chelsea, so I’ll have to find a way out.
‘I love living in Madrid, but I have to think about my future.
‘It’s complicated because I cannot go four or five months without playing. I have no preference for a league, I just want to play.’
Atletico are some way off that mark at the moment with the Daily Mail claiming they’re only willing to pay as little as £22m for the player, who only has two years left on his contract and who won’t be able to play for them for the first half of next season.
The Spanish giants were hit by a transfer ban earlier this summer which stopped them signing Alexandre Lacazette ahead of Arsenal, but they remain in the hunt for Costa.
Reports claim their plan is to sign the Brazilian-born forward now and register him when their embargo ends in the middle of the season, but they won’t want to pay over the odds for such a scenario.
Diego Costa 2016/17 statsAppearances42Goals22Assists7
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Costa initially left Atletico for Chelsea for a fee of around £32m in the summer of 2014, though he has never really settled in London.
He has still proven to be a force on the pitch, however, helping Chelsea to two Premier League titles and scoring 59 goals in 120 appearances in that time.