Rumour: Atletico Madrid set to make £40m bid for Diego Costa


Atletico Madrid are set to offer Chelsea £40m for Diego Costa, 27.

The Spanish international has made no secret of his desire to return to the Vincente Calderon this summer and is in regular contact with friends in the Atletico hierarchy.

Diego Simeone is an ardent admirer of the Brazilian-born striker’s ability to play on the edge of acceptable football behavior. It is a fighting spirit that the Argentinean manager personified as a player and demands from his own squad.

Last season proved disastrous for Costa. Sent off for the first time in his career at Goodison Park as Chelsea exited the FA Cup in bad-tempered defeat to Everton, he was also labelled a ‘cheat’ by the media after the Football Association found he had feigned injury during an exchange with Arsenal centre back, Gabriel.

As Chelsea slumped to mid-table, Costa found the net just 16 times in 41 appearances, his poorest return since a loan spell with Rayo Vallecano in 2011-12.

With new manager Antonio Conte set to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, Costa’s departure seems inevitable.

Atletico have been stifled in their search for more firepower this summer and encouraged by the Blues £57m bid for the Belgian, are set to return for their former player.


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