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Dublin: 12°C Monday 23 November 2020

'I must return to Atletico Madrid' - AWOL Costa says he's not going back to Chelsea

The striker, who is at home in Brazil, has released a statement reiterating his desire to sign for the La Liga club.

Costa has no wish to play for Chelsea again.
Costa has no wish to play for Chelsea again.
Image: EMPICS Sport

DIEGO COSTA HAS reiterated his desire to join Atletico Madrid this summer and insists he will not return to Chelsea.

The Spain international has spent the close season training alone in his hometown of Lagarto, Brazil, after Antonio Conte’s confirmation that Costa was not in his plans ahead of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

Costa was expected to complete a transfer away from Stamford Bridge in the following months, though the transfer ban imposed on Atletico has complicated matters.

In an attempt to force through a return to the Spanish capital, Costa has taken legal action against Chelsea and insists he will remain absent from first-team affairs in west London until a deal is completed.

Now, following a meeting with the FA in his Brazilian hometown, Costa has released a statement in regards to a switch to La Liga.

I must return to Atletico Madrid,” the striker’s statement begins. “We are at an impasse because Chelsea do not want to release me.

“But I believe that this situation will be resolved soon for my return to Spain.”

Costa’s relationship with Blues boss Conte came to a head following the break down of the striker’s £76 million move to the Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian in January.

The 28-year-old was then told he would be free to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the 2016/17 season, despite scoring 20 goals in the club’s Premier League title-winning campaign.

Costa has made it clear to Chelsea that he will not return to the club, despite already being fined £300,000 for breach of contract, and is holding out for a return to Atletico where he spent three seasons prior to his arrival in London.

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