Tuesday 22 May 2018

Diego Costa releases a statement urging Chelsea to grant him his wish as Everton express interest

Chelsea striker Diego Costa. Photo: PA.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa. Photo: PA.
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Diego Costa has released a statement confirming he has no intention of returning to Chelsea and has pleaded with the Premier League champions to sanction a return to his former club Atletico Madrid.

Costa has not returned to the Chelsea training ground since his manager Antonio Conte informed him via a text message in June that he would not be a part of the club’s plans for this season.

That move by the Chelsea boss is believed to have infuriated Stamford Bridge chiefs whose bargaining position has been weakened by the public spat between the Spain striker and his manager.

Costa has been fined by Chelsea for his refusal to return to training and remaining in his native Brazil in recent weeks, with an interview he gave to the Daily Mail earlier this week outlining his desire to leave the club as soon as possible.

Chelsea have urged Costa to come back to England to resolve his future, but a statement released by the striker confirms he has no intention of complying with that request.

“My destination is already set. I must return to Atletico Madrid next season,” he declared. “It turns out that there is the impasse that Chelsea does not want to release me. But I believe that this situation will be resolved now on my return to Spain.”

Costa has confirmed that he tried and failed to set up a move back to Atletico Madrid last summer and has insisted he will not consider joining any other team as he looks to plot a route out of Chelsea.

This story needs to reach a conclusion in the coming days, with Costa’s exile a shadow over a club that faces a daunting challenge of a clash against Tottenham in the Premier League at Wembley on Sunday without a host of star players due to injury and suspension.

Meanwhile, Everton manager Ronald Koeman has said he is "open" to the possibility of Costa moving to Goodison Park.

When asked during a press conference whether those signings would need to be permanent or could be temporary, Koeman replie, "Is that about Costa?!", seemingly in reference to comments made by Joey Barton about the wantaway Chelsea forward’s situation.

"Of course you like to sign players for the future, but if you can get the best one that way, then why not?" the Dutchman added.

"That’s for six months, the season, two years.

"It’s difficult ­because it needs to be a quality player, or a young player who can develop or improve.

"We have the possibility maybe to sign good players, but we don’t play in the Champions League – and that sometimes makes things very difficult."

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