Diego Costa won’t be heading back to Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is reportedly not expected to link up with the club for the start of pre-season training as his transfer to Atletico Madrid draws nearer.

Manchester United closing in on world-record transfer deal for Romelu Lukaku

Blues manager Antonio Conte has made it clear to the Spain international that he doesn’t have him in his plans for next season, with the player keen to return to his former club.

Costa was Chelsea’s top scorer last season as they won the Premier League title and reached the FA Cup final, but has never fully settled in his three years in London.

Costa has shone in his three seasons at Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)

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.’

Marca claim that progress has been made on his move back to the Vicente Calderon, as well as for Chelsea to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku as his replacement at Stamford Bridge.

Rumour Mill: our round-up of football gossip, rumours and speculation

Atletico are supposedly hopeful that a deal for Costa can be done later this month, with the 28-year-old expected to spend the first half of the season training with the club while they wait for their transfer ban to be lifted in January.

While the ban does not technically prevent them from making signings this summer, it does not allow them to register new players in their squad until it finishes in the middle of the season, leading to rumours that Costa could be loaned out until then.

Costa hasn’t fully settled off the pitch and wants to rejoin Atletico (Picture: Getty)

Diego Costa 2016/17 statsAppearances42Goals22Assists7


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However, all recent reports point towards the Spaniard training with Diego Simeone’s side before finally making his debut next year.

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