Spanish news outlet, AS, report that a €55 million fee has been agreed with Atletico Madrid for Diego Costa. This payment will consist of €45 million outright and €10 million in potential add-ons. It matches the Club’s valuation of Costa which was understood to be €50 million.
Diego Costa’s future was determined in January after Conte made sure the Spanish international was not part of his plans for future seasons. However, whilst departure was certain – destination was less so. Costa’s preference was always to return to Atletico Madrid – the club he left to join Chelsea in the summer of 2014 for £32 million. Atletico’s transfer embargo put a potential transfer in doubt and alternative options were explored; particularly A.C. Milan and their affiliation to super-agent Jorge Mendes. There was even a link to Everton and Liverpool but that looked heavily unlikely.
Costa’s absence was unauthorised as he demanded that he would not return unless he received his dream move back to Atletico. The news tonight (August 19th) looks like that this prolonged saga is now over and Costa will be returning to the Spanish capital. He will play alongside former Chelsea players, Filipe Luis and Fernando Torres.
Costa’s attitude was a thorn in Conte’s and the Club’s side and it is a welcomed departure. It was a must that the Club avoided a humiliating situation where the deadline passed and Costa was still registered as a Chelsea player. Throughout his time at Chelsea, Costa made 89 Premier League appearances, scoring 52 goals and secured two Premier League titles in his three seasons at the Club. Despite animosity and unrest between Diego and Conte, he was influential with 20 Premier League goals in helping Chelsea amass 93 points, a record 30 league victories and secure a fifth Premier League title.
The disrespect Costa demonstrated towards the Club will tarnish his legacy in the eyes of some fans but he was a clinical striker for the Club. His contribution has not gone unrecognised, particularly in the two title winning campaigns.
It won’t be a view shared by all but Obrigado Diego.