Diego Costa is not expected to return to Chelsea training when the club’s pre-season starts as his move to Atletico Madrid moves closer, say reports in Spain.
According to Marca, the 28-year-old’s return to Los Rojiblancos is starting to fall into place as he ends his holiday in Brazil and the English champion’s ramp up their pursuit of Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.
The report suggests neither the striker nor current boss Antonio Conte is expecting his return to training with the London Blues with Atleti continue to leave the door open to a move.
While no deal is expected to be announced before Atletico return to training on Thursday, Marca say sources at the club are expecting a deal to come to fruition this month.
Reports now indicate Costa will move to Diego Simeone’s men directly and sit out first-team action until January, rather than temporarily join another club on loan.
The Mirror claim that the Spanish side are so desperate to get their man that they have apparently set up a training programme for Costa to keep him match fit whilst he is not playing games.
However, as much as Atletico want Costa to return, its said they are only offering £22m plus add-ons for the striker and that certainly won’t be enough to make Chelsea let him go.
It is clear Costa is unlikely to be playing for Chelsea this season with the Blues lining up their own re-union with Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, with that transfer expected to take place soon as Chelsea aim for back-to-back title wins.