Costa sticks to his guns

Diego Costa

Diego Costa

LONDON. — Diego Costa has released a statement saying he will not return to Chelsea and he “must return to Atletico Madrid”.

Costa is currently in his native Brazil and has threatened to remain there rather than return to London, and then leave on a free transfer.

Such a scenario is not acceptable to Chelsea, though, who want the player to return to training and put himself in contention for selection.

His relationship with manager Antonio Conte has broken down since the Italian told him via text message that he was no longer needed at the club.

Costa only has eyes for a return to Atletico, currently under a transfer embargo, and will seemingly do anything necessary to secure that move.

In the statement, Costa said: “My destination has already been decided. I must return to Atletico Madrid.

“It turns out that there is the impasse that Chelsea do not want to release me. But I believe that this situation will be resolved now on my return to Spain.”

Earlier this week, Costa gave an interview to the Daily Mail in which he stated his desire to leave Chelsea, accusing them of treating him like a “criminal”.

He said: “I am waiting for Chelsea to set me free. Why won’t they let me go if they don’t want me?

“My desire is to go to Atletico. I’ve spoken to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. I said, ‘If the manager doesn’t want me, I want to go to Atletico Madrid’.

“They want me to be there training with the reserves. I wouldn’t be allowed access to the first-team dressing room and I would have no contact at all with the guys. I’m not a criminal! I don’t think it is fair after all I have done to be treated like that.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte reportedly texted Costa in June, informing the striker he was not part of his future plans, and the striker has since remained in his native Brazil.

The 28-year-old’s lawyer, Ricardo Cardoso, said last week his client intended to hand in a formal transfer request and is considering legal action against Chelsea in order to force through a move to former club Atletico. — Sky Sports.

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