A deal for the Spain international to return to his former club seems to have stalled in recent weeks, with Atletico under a transfer imbargo this summer so unable to register new players until 2018.
Manager Diego Simeone hinted a move for Costa could be off for the time being, saying yesterday: ‘Diego Costa? If he comes in January… We can’t say anything about that yet.’
Chelsea, however, don’t want to be made to hold on to the 28-year-old for the first half of the season, with Antonio Conte making it clear to him earlier in the summer that he was no longer in his plans.
The Blues have since signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid with the view of replacing Costa, and Calciomercato claim they are now hoping he will opt for a move to Milan instead.
It was recently confirmed that Costa’s agent Jorge Mendes had held talks with the Rossoneri, but the player himself strongly suggested earlier in the summer that he wouldn’t leave Chelsea for anyone but Atletico.
‘I will only leave Chelsea for Atletico,’ Costa said in May. ‘If not, I will stay here. I’m not interested in other clubs. Everyone know what my preferred club is, there’s nothing to hide.’
Diego Costa 2016/17 statsAppearances42Goals22Assists7
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Milan are keen to land a big-name centre-forward this summer so will hope to persuade Costa to change his mind, though they’re also reported to be looking at Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as an alternative.
Costa has been a big success in his three seasons at Stamford Bridge, scoring 59 goals in 120 appearances to help the club to two Premier League title victories.
However, the Brazilian-born front-man has never fully settled in England and has been linked several times with a return to Spain.