The Blues’ failure to sell the 28-year-old striker is liable to cause them more harm them good due to the tempestuous nature of the player.
Diego Costa remains at Chelsea following the close of the transfer window, but his relationship with the staff at Stamford Bridge remains fractured.
The Spain international will be registered to compete in the Premier League and Champions League but manager Antonio Conte has made clear that he does not want the forward sticking around.
Costa remains unhappy with a text message sent to him by the Italian while he was on international duty in May, stating that he is no longer welcome at the club, although we understands that the 28-year-old was previously told that he was considered surplus to requirements.
A long-touted move to Atletico Madrid might not have come to fruition in the summer, but the club from the Spanish capital are still seeking the forward, who is eager to return for a second stint there. Atleti, who are in the midst of a transfer ban and could, therefore, not have registered the player for action until January, refused to meet Chelsea’s £40 million valuation.
As things stand, it is unlikely that Costa will feature for the Blues again, and Atleti are hopeful that his transfer value will drop by January as a result.
He is a player courted by Diego Simeone for over a year now, with Chelsea having threatened to go to UEFA last summer as they felt the Spanish side overstepped the mark in their pursuit of the attacker.
Costa, who has claimed in one interview that he has been “treated like a criminal” by Chelsea, remains in his hometown of Legarto, Brazil, and has been training alone. His side, however, want him to return to Cobham so they can oversee his work. It is likely, however, that he would work with the Under-23 squad upon his return.
The situation gets messier still as Costa has legal proceedings open against Chelsea for “discrimination” as explained by his lawyer in a statement to the news agency EFE.
It might have been resolved last January, when there was the possibility of the player leaving for Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, who were prepared to triple his wages and pay £76m for him. However, Chelsea rebuffed that move as they sought the Premier League title, and though it was meant to go through this summer, a new 100 per cent tax on foreign transfers caused the deal to collapse.
Costa’s situation today remains messy, awkward and with no apologies made. Chelsea have a lot of work to do just to sell him and he is still unlikely to play for the club in the near future, especially while Conte remains.