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Diego Costa insists he 'must return to Atletico Madrid'

Jon Wilde 17 Aug 2017
Diego Costa in action for Spain (credit: Getty Images)

Exiled Chelsea striker Diego Costa has repeated his wish to return to Atletico Madrid and believes his stand-off with the Premier League champions will end when he travels to Spain.

The 28-year-old Brazil-born Spain international, who has helped to fire the Blues to two English titles in the last three seasons, wants to return to the club who sold him to Chelsea for £32million in 2014.

Earlier this week, speaking from his home town of Lagarto in Brazil, Costa criticised Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, whom he insists told him earlier this summer in a text message that he was no longer part of the club’s first-team plans.

Chelsea, however, maintain it was decided in January, with the striker and his agent, Jorge Mendes, that Costa could leave this summer.

Costa has been ordered by Chelsea to return to London, get himself match fit and make himself available for selection as he still has two years remaining on his contract.

But the forward has met with Milton Dantas, president of the Sergipe Football Association in the Brazilian region from which Costa hails, and reiterated his desire to return to Atletico.

In a statement, Costa said: 

“My destiny is already set. I must return to Atletico Madrid this season.  
“There happens to be an impasse as Chelsea do not want to release me. But I believe this situation will be resolved upon my return to Spain.”

He did not say when he would return to Spain, but his preferred move is complicated by Atletico's transfer embargo which forbids them from registering new players until January.

The statement from the Sergipe FA is the first sign that Costa is prepared to use official channels to negotiate his departure from Stamford Bridge.

It is understood Costa has not yet contacted FIFA, football's world governing body, over his concerns.

And FIFPro, the global players' union, is yet to by contacted by Costa, although they have general concerns about the trade of players through transfers.

A FIFPro statement said: 

“We strongly believe players at every level of the football pyramid should have the same right as workers in other industries to follow the career path of their choice.  
“A footballer's career should not be tied to a transfer market which has spiralled out of control. 
“FIFPro is not in a position to comment on the specifics of the situation of Diego Costa. However, we are aware of repeated instances of the financial interests of clubs interfering with the short career of players. 
 “Indeed, FIFPro's recent global survey of professional players found that 29 per cent of those traded for a transfer fee to their current club were unhappy with the move.”


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Diego Costa insists he "must return to Atletico Madrid"

Exiled Chelsea striker Diego Costa has repeated his wish to return to Atletico Madrid and believes his stand-off with the Premier League champions will end when he travels to Spain.

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