Atletico Madrid have opened negotiations with Chelsea over striker, Diego Costa, 27, and are prepared to meet the London club’s £35m valuation.
The former Spanish international has endured a turbulent time at Stamford Bridge since signing from Atletico in 2014. With Michy Batshuayi, 22, close to joining, Chelsea are prepared to grant Costa’s desire to return to the Vincente Calderon.
Given a three-match ban for violent conduct for his part in an altercation with Arsenal’s Brazilian centre back, Gabriel, Costa was labelled a “cheat” by the press and felt he was becoming the subject of a witch-hunt.
It culminated in the first red card of his career at Goodison Park when during an FA Cup tie with Everton, he appeared to bite Gareth Barry. He wasn’t always the sinner; Moussa Dembele received a six-match ban for gouging Costa’s eye during the bad-tempered match at Stamford Bridge which saw Tottenham’s title hopes go up in smoke.
With Batshuayi expected to confirm his move to Chelsea once Belgium’s Euro 2016 quarter-final with Wales is over, Costa is being allowed to leave with the club’s blessing after 36 goals in 78 games.
Atletico, looking to build on last season’s run to the Champions League final, are also in talks with Milan over Fernando Torres, 32, future. The prodigal son returned to Madrid two years ago and was returning to his best form last season. Atletico are keen to make the deal permanent but are struggling to agree a fee with the Italians.
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