Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has hinted at a possible return to the club for Chelsea striker Diego Costa.
The Spain international has been told by Blues boss Antonio Conte that he is not part of his plans for the coming season, with the 28-year-old linked to Atletico and AC Milan.
Simeone’s side are currently serving a transfer ban which runs until January but speaking ahead of the pre-season Audi Cup tournament in Germany, the Atletico boss referenced a possible Costa move in the new year before appearing to backtrack slightly.
“All the players want to stay, they want to achieve even better goals and get even better,” he said. “Diego Costa? If he comes in January… we can’t say anything about that yet. I won’t speak about him now. He is a player of Chelsea. We will talk about the boys who are here now, because we have a late start to the season. That is what is important.”
Atletico were hoping to get Costa for a cut-price deal at around £25m but the Premier League champions are holding out for closer to £44m.