With Antonio Conte arriving at Chelsea, the Premier League giants were primed for a big hit on the summer transfer market and to sell a set of current players in order to raise money.
The Blues have already secured the services of striker Michy Batshuayi and midfielder N’Golo Kante, and are now close to selling one of their biggest stars.
Reports in Italy claim Diego Costa is close to returning to Atletico Madrid. The Spanish striker has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge for months, as he experienced a massive dip in form last season, while Atletico have, on multiple occasions, publicly declared their intention of bringing the Spain international back to La Liga.
Now, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has revealed his club are close to landing Costa, while dismissing their chase of AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca, Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, and Inter’s Mauro Icardi.
“We won’t take strikers from the Italian League,” Cerezo told Gazzamercato (via Football-Italia).
“Diego Costa? We like him a lot, I’ll admit it. We’re talking with the player and we’re working to bring him back to Atletico Madrid. We’re close, but don’t make me say any more.”
Earlier reports consistently claimed the Blues would want a fee in the region of £40 million for their striker.
Costa, who has three years left on his current deal with the Blues, is eager to leave England after his public image hit rock-bottom due to his on-pitch antics last season. He arrived at Stamford Bridge in a £32 million deal, a couple of years ago, and scored 36 goals in 78 appearances for Chelsea.