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Atletico supremo Cerezo rules out Costa return this summer

Atletico Madrid's President Enrique Cerezo talks with Wang Jianlin (L), chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, ahead of a signing ceremony in Beijing, January 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files
Atletico Madrid's President Enrique Cerezo talks with Wang Jianlin (L), chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, ahead of a signing ceremony in Beijing, January 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

REUTERS - Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has ruled out Chelsea forward Diego Costa's possible return to the Vicente Calderon stadium this summer despite reports suggesting otherwise.

The arrival of Michy Batshuayi at Chelsea from Marseille has led to reports in England and Spain that Costa, who has scored 36 goals in 77 games since joining Chelsea in 2014, could move back to Atletico, a team he helped capture the La Liga title, a King's Cup and two Super Cups in his four years with the outfit.

New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said the Spain international will stay put, describing him as a player of "fundamental importance" and now Cerezo has ruled out his return.

Costa is under contract at Chelsea until June 2019.

"He is a great player, who is very much loved, but he is a Chelsea player," Cerezo told reporters.

"The issue is as it was six months ago or even a year ago, he is a Chelsea player.

"I've always said that Costa is a Chelsea player and has a contract with Chelsea. That's the end of this issue.

"The day we have a number nine we will announce it.

"We are looking for one and once we have him, we will announce it."

The 27-year-old Costa was handed a start for Conte's first match in charge, a 2-0 pre-season defeat to Rapid Vienna on Saturday.

(Reporting by Adriana Garcia; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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