At 15:05 on Wednesday it looked more certain than ever that Diego Costa would secure his return to Atlético Madrid before the end of the transfer window. Yet according to Diario AS sources, the negotiations could continue beyond the international break.
Diego Costa negotiations to continue
Given that Los Rojiblancos would be unable to register Costa until 1 January 2018, the club are in no rush to acquiesce to Chelsea’s demands.
Chelsea lowered their asking price for Diego Costa from €75m to €60m on Tuesday, and that looked to have nudged the deal towards the dotted line. Diario AS sources have confirmed that representatives of the two clubs met on Wednesday afternoon, along with the player’s legal team, to finalise the transfer. Yet stumbling blocks have arisen: Costa’s continued absence from London (he has been on holiday for 79 days), and the subsequent fine he faces.
It appears likely that Fernando Llorente will arrive at Stamford Bridge, moving Diego Costa closer to Atlético. Chelsea need to finance three transfers before the end of the window and the sale of Costa, who has scored 58 goals in 120 games for the club since 2014, would boost Antonio Conte’s budget.
Atlético transfer ban implications
With Atlético's transfer ban upheld until January, Costa has a number of options open to him in the meantime. The first is to remain at Atlético to train with his future team-mates, and the second is a loan deal, with clubs such as Everton, Besiktas and Las Palmas already showing interest in utilising the player's goalscoring prowess and presence.