Transfer Rumour: Barcelona and Atletico Madrid ready to sweep in for Chelsea's fallen star Diego Costa
- Antonio Conte and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich are keen on keeping their star striker at least until the summer.
What’s the story?
According to the Independent, both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are keen on bringing Chelsea’s fallen star Diego Costa back to Spain. Costa’s future at Chelsea is uncertain after the reported fall-out and both the La Liga clubs want to take advantage of the situation.
Atletico want to land their former star in a bid to replace Antoine Griezmann, should the latter move to Manchester United. Barcelona, on the other hand, are closely monitoring the situation and have let Costa’s camp know about their interest.
In case you didn’t know…
Costa joined Chelsea in 2014 from Atletico and has been impressive in the Premier League. This season, in particular, he has been terrific, scoring 14 goals already and currently leads the top-scorer chart. However, reportedly, he has had a fallout with manager Antonio Conte and a fitness coach during training.
Consequently, he was left out of Chelsea’s squad to face Leicester over the weekend. Although Conte dismissed it saying he had sustained a mild injury, rumours have been rife ever since.
The heart of the matter
Although it is understood that Chelsea have no intention of selling Costa, bids for him in the ongoing transfer window are not out of the question. Alongside the interest from the cash-rich Chinese Super League, Barcelona and Atletico have joined the race to land the 28-year-old striker.
It has previously been reported that Atletico are almost certain to lose Griezmann in the summer. Now, they want Costa to return ad take the place of the Frenchman in the lineup and could make a £40m bid. Costa has often mentioned how he misses football and life in Madrid and a move cannot be ruled out.
However, if Barcelona’s interest is indeed concrete the situation might become different. The Catalan club are having a difficult season with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez not as destructive as they were last season. And Suarez will be 30 next season. This has prompted the Barca hierarchy to search for viable replacements and Costa has emerged as a target.
Antonio Conte and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich are keen on keeping their star striker at least until the summer. Although Costa missed Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Leicester, he was back on Monday morning having his back treated by the club physio.
Costa, if he manages to keep his cool and stay out of the goading, is a world-class striker. He knows how to find the back of the net and thus, is a prized possession for any team. Chelsea would want to keep him as they do not have any immediate back-up but a summer move cannot be ruled out as of yet.