Chelsea to get tough with Atletico over 'disrespectful' Costa pursuit
Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30
Chelsea are ready to fight fire with fire over Diego Costa by issuing Atletico Madrid with a second warning over their pursuit of the striker.
Atletico are desperate to re-sign Costa and have become public in their attempts to unsettle the 27-year-old, despite Chelsea's repeated insistence he is not for sale.
Chelsea have already sent one letter to Atletico warning them about their previous comments regarding Costa and are prepared to make contact again with a more strongly-worded rebuke if the Spanish club maintain their aggressive transfer tactics.
Costa has struggled to adapt to life in England and became frustrated during his second season but has promised new head coach Antonio Conte that he will give him everything.
That has not stopped Atletico's courtship and Chelsea were, on Monday, forced to deny stories from Spain that Costa had put in a transfer request.
Chelsea officials were then astonished to see quotes attributed to Atletico president Enrique Cerezo that his club were talking to the player and were "close" to re-signing him. Cerezo denied making the comments, but Chelsea feel that Atletico have been disrespectful.
Chelsea have long been admirers of Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann, but have never spoken about the Frenchman publicly or made any attempt to contact him.
Conte has held more than one round of talks with Costa and wants to play him in a new two-man strike force this season.
Chelsea have signed Michy Batshuayi from Marseille, but are n the market for another striker. Conte's top target is Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata, with Santos' Gabriel Barbosa another option. (© Daily Telegraph, London)