Chelsea, the Premier League champions, had a major transfer setback yesterday when their long term target Romelu Lukaku abandoned an opportunity to rejoin his former club and opted to move to Manchester United for a fee around £75 mil after rejecting a contract extension with Everton – his current employers.
The big Belgian hitman was set to replace out of favor forward Diego Costa in the Blues’ attack. Chelsea, however, now have to explore other options and despite missing out on their key transfer target, Costa won’t be staying put for the forthcoming season as he holds no future ahead with the Londoners following his rift with manager Antonio Conte.
Costa, the 28-year old Spain international, completed a £32 mil move from Atletico madrid back in 2014 under the then gaffer Jose Mourinho. He soon became a top Premier League star due to his goal poaching instinct and netted 52 times in 89 league appearances guiding them to win the league title twice in three seasons. But he has often been engaged in controversies and his attitude as well as antics have been criticized heavily. Costa got involved in a training ground row with Conte in January and had a degrading relationship since then. He dropped a bombshell last month stating:
“I’m going to be honest, the other day, Conte sent me a message saying he does not count on me for next season, so I’ll have to find a way out. I love living in Madrid, but I have to think about my future. It’s complicated because I cannot go four or five months without playing. I have no preference for a league, I just want to play.”
Costa is keen to return to his former club Atletico Madrid who has a transfer ban until the end of this year. The Madrid heavyweights will only be able to register him in January and the forward will have to train with the squad for around four months if he completes his move in coming weeks. Chelsea, although asking for a fee around £60 mil for their marksman, the Rojiblancos are hopeful to strike a cut price deal of £22 mil.
Costa, however, is not eligible to be loaned out until he is registered for them and thus, his agent Jorge Mendes is working on an imminent loan deal from Chelsea until January with Besiktas, the Turkish giants, are reportedly interested to bring him in short run. But one thing’s for sure, even if he joins the Blues’ pre-season next week, Costa’s Chelsea career is categorically over.
Photo by Ben Sutherland