22 August 2017

Diego Costa ordered by Atletico Madrid to make peace with Chelsea before they consider buying him for just £25m

DIEGO COSTA has been told by Atletico Madrid to thrash out a peace deal with Chelsea before they will consider signing him.

It means the Blues’ rebel striker is now under more pressure than ever to return to England and resolve the stand-off that is overshadowing the start to the season.

Atletico Madrid want Diego Costa to make peace with Chelsea before they buy him
PA:Empics Sport
The Premier League winner has been AWOL from London for the past five weeks
PA:Empics Sport

The two clubs are keen to do a deal, even though they are miles apart on their valuations.

Chelsea are asking for £50million, but Atletico are only ready to pay half that.

The Spaniard has been AWOL for five weeks after a text row with boss Antonio Conte.

And there has been little sign of a breakthrough in the whole tit-for-tat row.

Costa, 29, has said he only wants to play for his former club in Spain now he has no future with the Premier League champions.

But the summer-long saga is in limbo while the player refuses to bow to Chelsea’s demands to come back to England and resume training.

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Antonio Conte has said Diego Costa is no longer part of Chelsea
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had a row with missing striker Diego Costa over text
Rex Features

Costa has claimed he is being treated like a “criminal” and that he only downed tools after Conte sent him a curt text telling him he was finished at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are able to fine him two weeks’ wages — around £300,000 — every fortnight when there is another unauthorised absence.

Worryingly for Costa, Chelsea have got their act together after losing their first game at home to Burnley.

They beat Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday to show they are moving on without him, with new striker Alvaro Morata showing promising signs up front.

Costa has been holed up in Brazil since July when the rest of his team reported back for pre-season training.

But last week he claimed he is now moving camp to Spain.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte laughs off Diego Costa's suggestion that he is being treated like an animal

He still has a house in Madrid and hopes being close to his old club will help force through the transfer both parties want.

Atletico’s transfer ban until January is proving the major sticking point though.

But Costa could sign for them and just train until the new year when he will be cleared to play.

Atletico — who also have another former Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres, on their books — are keen to settle the matter as diplomatically as possible.

And that is why they want Costa to overcome his fallout with Conte before they will do business.

There are only ten days left until the transfer window closes on August 31.

Chelsea still want another midfielder, with Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on their list.

Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea: Marcos Alonso double secures dramatic late win for Antonio Conte at Wembley

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