Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone looks to have dashed Diego Costa’s hopes of a return to the Spanish capital, after he hinted that the club’s pursuit of the striker may be over.
Costa was superb for Chelsea last season, bagging 20 goals and seven assists as the Blues ran out as title winners.
However, after reports of training ground bust-ups and public flirtations with lucrative moves to China throughout the campaign, Antonio Conte’s patience appeared to run out and the striker was told he could leave this summer.
An Atletico return for the Spain international looked to be all but sown up last month, after the combustive striker posted an Instagram video of himself on holiday in Brazil in an Atletico Madrid shirt.
However, the 28-year-old looks likely to remain in limbo as Atletico are reportedly reluctant to meet Chelsea £50m valuation of the Spain international, as reported by the Evening Standard.
The Spanish giants are also unable to make any signings until January, due to a transfer ban. Costa wasn't named in the squad for Chelsea's 4-1 penalty shoot-out defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield yesterday, and the Brazil-born forward may be languishing in the Chelsea reserves for the next five months, should he fail to secure a move.
Talking to the press after Atleti’s 3-2 win over Premier League new-boys Brighton, Diego Simeone appeared reticent about the chances of signing Costa this summer.
He said: “I don’t want to comment too much. The fact is he is still with Chelsea.
“The most important thing to me is the work of my club in general, not only in training. I have to work with what I have. When I found there was no other possibility to get new players at the club I accepted it.
“Maybe I could improve the quality, but for the moment with this team I can work very well and I’m satisfied with that.”
Both AC Milan and Internazionale have also reportedly voiced interest in a summer swoop for former Valladolid man. Diego Costa’s current contract with the Premier League champions runs until June 2019.