He had talked quite openly about it even before Antonio Conte‘s SMS, through which the Chelsea manager informed him that he doesn’t have a place in his plans for next season.
I’m not going to China, I’m not going anywhere I don’t want to go, if I leave Chelsea it will be to return to Spain
Diego Costa said right after the end of the Premier League season, leaving no doubt about which Spanish team he had in mind.
Soon after that though, Atletico Madrid realized that FIFA’s ban would stand, and they are really unable to sign anyone before coming January. That’s when things got complicated, and they got even more complicated when Conte informed Costa that he needs to find another team to continue his career.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, the Spain international is thinking about it, and is close to deciding to wait for Atletico Madrid, even if that means not playing for several months.
Atletico’s staff, people Diego Simeone has been working with for years and totally trusts, would prepare a special training program for Costa, and he would be ready to play in January. In February, he should already be at top form, on time for Atletico’s most important games both in LaLiga and the Champions League.
Even Spain coach Julen Lopetegui seems to be playing a role in Costa’s decision, having, according to the same report, assured the 28-year-old striker that he would still have a place in the national team, even after spending months inactive, as long as his performances in the second half of the season are adequate.
Nothing is certain yet, Costa hasn’t made up his made, and even if and when he does, Atletico will still need to strike a deal with Chelsea.