Thursday 14 December 2017

Chelsea could be stuck with Diego Costa as FIFA loan rules put Atletico Madrid move in doubt

Jack Austin

Antonio Conte could be left frustrated in his attempts to oust Diego Costa out of Chelsea, with Fifa rules meaning Atletico Madrid would not be able to sign the Spaniard and immediately loan him out.

Atletico are currently banned from registering any new players until January as a punishment for illegal transfer activity, but they are technically allowed to sign new players, like Barcelona did with Arda Turan.

Turan joined from Atletico in the summer but was ineligible to play until their ban was over six months later, meaning he was only able to train.

After being informed by Conte that his Chelsea career was over, Costa was hoping he would be able to move back to Madrid with his former club, only for their ban to be upheld.

He was still keen to move and then be immediately sent out on loan until the ban ended, but under Fifa rules he will not be able to do that either.

The regulations state that clubs must first register any player they sign before loaning them out to another club, seemingly ending Costa’s hopes of moving to Atleti.

He is also unwilling to do as Turan did and sit out six months of competitive football, especially in a World Cup year.

The Blue forward, who has won two Premier League titles in three seasons at Stamford Bridge, has made it clear that Atletico is the only move he is interested in and does not want to move to China – leaving Chelsea in a tough situation.

It leaves Conte stuck with Costa until at least January and, while he is a very popular character within the changing room, the Italian is concerned that the unrest could fester and sour the atmosphere in the club.

(© Independent News Service)

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