Tuesday 21 November 2017

Diego Costa continues feud with Chelsea despite being named in Premier League squad

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, right, has fallen out with Diego Costa
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, right, has fallen out with Diego Costa

Matt Law

Diego Costa has offered no indication he is willing to make peace with Chelsea despite missing out on a move to Atletico Madrid on the final day of the Spanish transfer window and being included in the Blues’ 25-man Premier League squad.

Atletico left Costa in limbo on Friday night after failing to agree a deal for the striker by the Spanish deadline, meaning Chelsea is the only club he can play for before the January transfer window opens.

Chelsea still want Costa, who has been on strike in Brazil, to return to the club and train to try to make himself available for selection, but sources close to the player say he has offered no suggestion he is prepared to do that.

Costa has stated on several occasions that he does not believe he will be given a fair chance to fight for a first-team place by Antonio Conte after falling out with the Italian last season and receiving a text message informing him that he was not part of the Chelsea head coach’s plans this season.

Even if Costa were to give in to Chelsea’s wish and return, it would take him some time to regain the necessary fitness to be considered for selection after spending the entire summer in Brazil.

Atletico can still sign Costa outside the transfer window, but he could not be registered to play until their transfer embargo is lifted in January and he cannot join any other team on loan before then.

With lawyers looking hard at the Costa situation, Chelsea’s decision to include him in their 25-man Premier League squad means the club cannot be accused of preventing him from playing.

Costa, though, may not be named in Chelsea’s Champions League squad that will be released ahead of the first group game against Qarabag on Tuesday September 12.

Chelsea are in the same group as Atletico, who they face in Madrid on September 27 and at home on December 5. Were Costa to play in the competition, he would be cup-tied if he then joined another club.

Costa’s Chelsea team-mate and former Atletico colleague Thibaut Courtois poked fun at his situation by posing a picture on Twitter of the pair holding the Premier League trophy with the message ‘Se Queda’, which means ‘staying’.

The phrase became famous this summer, when it was used by Barcelona’s Gerard Pique along with a picture of him and Neymar in July. The Brazilian subsequently joined Paris Saint-Germain.

Telegraph.co.uk

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