Thank you for signing up. 

We've sent you an email. Please click on the link to verify your address.

Win big with FREE Tips from our experts

Get our professional tips mailed direct

No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Diego Costa prefers Atletico Madrid move to China transfer

Jon Wilde 12 Jun 2017
Diego Costa (left) of Chelsea in action during a friendly match against Rapid Vienna (credit: Getty Images)

Diego Costa has claimed he is being denied a “fair fight” for his Chelsea future – and would prefer to join Atletico Madrid, despite their transfer ban, than a Chinese club if he leaves.

The Brazil-born Spain international striker claimed last week he had received a message from Chelsea manager Antonio Conte that he was not in his first-choice plans going forward.

That was despite Costa scoring 26 goals in 46 matches for the Premier League champions this season, although he also spent time on the sidelines – officially due to an injury – when interest in signing him arose from Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian.

The 28-year-old has now ruled out any chance of moving to the Far East as he does not want to jeopardise his World Cup hopes, but also believes that trying to stay and fight for a starting place at Chelsea - with whom he has a contract until 2019 - is a waste of time.

Costa said: 

“Things don't work like that. The fight for a place has to be fair. When there is a fair fight you stay and fight but if there isn't, you have to go.”

Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for their former striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton, and Costa accepts Conte may want to move him on in order to bring in a new first-choice centre forward. However, he also suggested things could have been handled differently.

Costa added:

“You need to ask Conte what has happened. He is the coach and if he has the option of signing someone else and doesn't want to have problems with a senior player then that's normal. But there are ways of saying things, ways of doing things. 
 “Thanks to God I am not lacking teams (to join). If Chelsea don't want me I will choose the best option for me.”

One of those options appears to be a return to Atletico, for whom Costa played before joining Chelsea in 2014 and a club which remains close to his heart.

Atletico recently lost an appeal against a FIFA-imposed sanction which means that while they can still buy players this summer, they will not be able to register or play them until January.

With next year's World Cup finals in mind, that may put players off from joining the Rojiblancos ahead of the new season, but Costa does not see it as an insurmountable problem for him.

He added:
“I have a contract with Chelsea for two years. If they decide to sell me I will search for the best choice of team for me. 
“Atletico are among those teams. Signing for Atletico would not mean not playing, I could go (on loan) to some team in Spain, in Italy, in Brazil...wherever I can continue playing. 
“Everyone knows Atletico is a club I have a lot of love for. Regardless of whether I return or not, I will always continue loving them. Now we have to wait to see how things turn out.”

A move to the Chinese Super League is not in Costa's plans, however, for he added:

“I rule out China. I have to think about my future. I have to think about the World Cup. If I fight and I do things well I will have every chance of going to the World Cup. I cannot go to China.”


Today's Football Tips

Kick off time:

26 June 2017
16 July 2017

Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Diego Costa prefers Atletico Madrid move to China transfer

Diego Costa has claimed he is being denied a “fair fight” for his Chelsea future – and would prefer to join Atletico Madrid, despite their transfer ban, than a Chinese club if he leaves.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages