Atletico Madrid will not pay above £20 million to bring Diego Costa back to the club this summer, according to reports.
Costa insisted on Saturday after the FA Cup final that he would not leave Chelsea unless it was a transfer back to Atletico.
Atletico explored bringing Costa back last year, but talks with Chelsea broke down over the fee.
Costa scored 22 goals in an excellent for Chelsea as he returned to form and the Blues re-claimed the Premier League title.
The Spain international has been repeatedly linked with a big-money move to the Chinese Super League, but Costa rubbished those reports.
The Independent claim Atletico have responded to Costa’s pleas, but have told Chelsea they will not pay over £20 million.
Atletico sold Costa to Chelsea for £32 million three years ago and are not prepared to break the bank to re-sign their once unstoppable hitman.
Those close to Costa believe the Atletico plea is designed to put pressure on Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Conte may be prepared to allow his top scorer to walk as he targets moves for Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.
The ‘coded’ message to the Chelsea boss could be a warning Costa will refuse any move to China regardless of the money.
‘I will stay if the club and manager want me,’ he said.
‘If they want to sell to bring in another forward, there’s no problem, I will go. The whole world knows that Atletico is the only club I would go to.
‘If the club really want to sell me and an offer comes from another team, I stay, but if it’s Atletico I go.
‘I haven’t spoken with Atleti. I am very relaxed… China? No. People talk too much about that.
‘There is a World Cup this year, and I want to play in it, and if I go to China that won’t be possible.’
Chinese outfit Tianjin Quanjin are reportedly ready to pay £76 million to purchase Costa, but the striker seems to be intent on a return to Spain.
Costa has openly admitted he misses the sun and lifestyle in Madrid.