Diego Costa insists that ‘everything is cool’ between himself and Chelsea after Atletico Madrid moved closer to re-signing the Spain international.
Chelsea confirmed on Thursday afternoon that they had reached an agreement with the Liga side, believed to worth in the region of £48.4million, though the deal could rise to £57.2m following add-ons.
The impending move will bring an end to over nine months of speculation which had resulted in the striker going AWOL since the summer as he pushed for a return to Spain.
Costa has been in his native Brazil for in an attempt to force through a return to Atletico Madrid, from whom he joined from in 2014, and recently said he thought it was “disrespectful” that Chelsea boss had texted him to inform him that he was no longer wanted.
But following Thursday’s announcement, Costa was interviewed by Splash News in a Sao Paulo airport, where he insisted that ‘everything is cool’ between himself and Chelsea.
“I’m not upset with anybody,” he said. “I have no bitterness towards anyone.
“Everything is cool.”
Asked if he had a message for the Chelsea fans, he responded: “Everybody knows how much I love the fans.”
The transfer ban received from Fifa means that Atletico will not be able to register Costa before January.
Costa leaves boasting the outstanding Premier League record of scoring 52 goals and providing 16 assists in 89 appearances – winning two titles in the process.
Kurt Zouma: I hope Stoke City beat Chelsea
KURT ZOUMA has admitted he wants Stoke City to beat Chelsea on Saturday.
Central defender Zouma is on a season-long loan with the Potters but is ineligible to play against his parent club.
“It will be weird but I hope that we win this game,” he said.
“I am a Stoke City player so I hope we win this game.
“I’m very happy because I play a lot of games, but I can’t be happy if we lose.
“I am only happy if the team is winning and doing well.
“Personally, I am happy at Stoke, but I want to be extra happy because we are winning games and that’s why I am working hard.”
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Chelsea will leave the Bet365 Stadium with all three points.
Merson told Sky Sports: “Chelsea were poor against Arsenal – bar the Pedro chance they didn’t create much – and it just highlighted how much they miss a fully-fit Eden Hazard.
“This is a match they have to win because they cannot give the two Manchester teams any more of a head-start.
“If they lose at Stoke and City win, that’s a six-point gap in September.
“I have been disappointed in Stoke this season, the Newcastle game was a bad result.
“But what really gets me is they lost 2-0 to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup. That’s a joke.
“Stoke aren’t going to challenge for the league and they aren’t getting relegated.
“It’s another mid-table season. So why not go for it in the cup? It was a shocker.”