Atletico Madrid are on brink of signing Diego Costa from Chelsea in a stunning £57.5m deal.The two clubs brought an end to the summer’s longest-running transfer saga to an agreement and announced deal on Wednesday afternoon.Costa returns to Spanish club he left behind in 2014 when Chelsea paid £32m to prise him away from Diego Simeone’s side.
COSTA IN NUMBERS
£32million – fee paid by Chelsea to Atletico in July 2014.
120 – appearances for the Blues, 109 from start.
59 – goals for Chelsea.
52 – Premier League goals in 89 appearances.
20 – best goal return in a Premier League season (in 2014-15 and 2016-17).
2 – Champions League goals in 15 appearances for Chelsea.
31 – yellow cards.
1 – red card.
12 – games missed through suspension.
3 – Chelsea managers played under (Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Antonio Conte).
3 – major trophies won (Premier League 2014-15, 2016-17; League Cup 2014-15).
Both Atletico and Chelsea were eager to resolve situation ahead of the Champions League group stage clash between the two sides on Wednesday evening in the Spanish capital.Atletico started the summer keen to pay around £45m for Spanish forward but Chelsea have successfully negotiated the fee upwards. Sources close to the negotiations said the final fee, including all add-ons, came in at €65m.He is likely to earn similar in Spain to his £150,000 a week salary at Chelsea. Costa has previously turned down more lucrative approaches from China as he was set on a return to Atletico.Costa, who was still in his Brazilian hometown of Lagarto on Wednesday evening, fled to Madrid for medical tests today. It remains to be seen as to whether Atletico will take the mischievous step of presenting Costa in front of Chelsea next Wednesday.Atletico Madrid are currently under a FIFA transfer ban until January and as such, Costa cannot play for his new side until new year. He will, however, be allowed to train with his new team. Costa has worked with a personal trainer in Brazil but is some way short of match fitness. The upcoming international break will likely be too soon to be in contention for a Spain recall, after Costa was left out of September internationals due to his lack of game time.
In an explosive interview with Sportsmail, Costa alleged that Conte informed him by text message that his Chelsea career was over and also claimed that manager blocked his contract renewal negotiations in January. He added that he would prepared to go a year without being paid by the club if they refused to sanction his move to Madrid.Chelsea have subsequently fined him for his absences and it is estimated that the club may have saved up to £750,000 while Costa has stayed away.In his place, £58m summer signing Alvaro Morata has filled breach and made a positive start to life at Stamford Bridge.Costa scored 58 goals in 120 appearances for Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles and a League Cup.A Chelsea statement read ‘Chelsea Football Club has today agreed terms with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Diego Costa.’The transfer will be subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical.’
DIEGO COSTA’S 2017 TIMELINE
January 13: Costa does not travel with the Chelsea squad to Leicester for the following day’s fixture after reports of a behind th scenes bust-up with Antonio Conte and his backroom staff amid suggestions the striker’s head had been turned by a mega money offer from China.
January 14: Without Costa, Chelsea win 3-0 at Leicester. Conte insists the reason for the striker’s omission was a back injury, saying: ‘I like to tell ttruth, and that is Diego stopped training on Tuesday. He didn’t train in the week because he wasn’t fit.’
January 16: Costa trains on his own for a second successive day after missing the Leicester match, while his first-team colleagues enjoyed two days off.
January 17: The owner of Tianjin Quanjian, who had been linked with a mega-money offer for Costa, says new rules in the Chinese Super League have altered their recruitment plans. But speculation gathers of a return to Atletico Madrid.
January 20: Conte says Costa is available to play against Hull. The Italian adds ‘I think the player wants to stay at Chelsea. He’s very happy to play with us. This idea (to move) is far from his mind. I’m sure about his commitment, his behaviours, his will to fight with this team, to try together to fight to the end to try to win title.’
January 22: Costa is restored to Chelsea’s starting line-up at the first opportunity and scores his 52nd goal on his 100th Chelsea appearance in a 2-0 win over Hull. Conte says: ‘I hope with this game to finish the speculation about him, about Chelsea, about me and him. We showed we are a team with great unity.’
January 31: Costa has a penalty saved in a 1-1 Premier League draw at rivals Liverpool, on transfer deadline day.
February 3: With the Chinese Super League transfer window still open and thoughts in Europe turning to summer, speculation continues to swirl around Costa. Conte says: ‘Every week I hear a lot of news, a lot of speculation about Diego. I think now the most important thing is to be focused on this championship.’
February 17: Conte says future of all his players, including Costa, will be discussed at the end of the season as the focus should not waver from winning the Premier League title.
May 8: Costa scores his 20th goal of the Premier League season in a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough which takes Blues within reach of the Premier League title.
May 27: Chelsea lose the FA Cup final 2-1 to Arsenal. Costa scores his 59th goal for the Blues on his 120th appearance.
May 28: Costa insists he does not wish to move to China and only wants to move to Atletico if he leaves Chelsea. ‘I have no intention of leaving, I’m very happy here, I have two years on my contract, but if the club want to sell me there is one club I would go to,’ Costa says.
June 8: Costa says Conte sent him a text message to tell striker he is not in his plans next season.
July 21: On Chelsea’s pre-season tour to Asia, without Costa, Conte says the decision to cut striker from his squad was made in January. The player and his agent, Jorge Mendes, were aware. ‘The situation is closed,’ Conte adds.
August 4: A lawyer stating he represents Costa threatens legal action after the striker was told he was free to leave. Chelsea describe claims Conte is forcing out Costa as ‘just nonsense’.
August 11: Chelsea and Conte are tight-lipped on Costa as it emerges legal proceedings are taking place behind the scenes.
August 14: Costa criticises Chelsea’s treatment of him this summer in an interview with Sportsmail. He says he is ‘not a criminal’ and is prepared to remain in exile in Brazil for a year.
August 17: Repeats his wish to return to Atletico, and says he believes situation will be resolved upon his return to Spain.
August 18: In an interview with ESPN Brasil, Costa pleads with Chelsea to lower their asking price to allow him to return to Atletico.
September 21: Atletico and Chelsea announce an agreement has been reached for player’s return to Spain after the Premier League club accepted a reported fee of £53m for the striker.