Spanish giants Atletico Madrid have urged Diego Costa to return to Stamford Bridge after they failed to pursue his services prior to Friday’s transfer deadline. The Spain international is currently on an indefinite strike in his native Lagarto in Brazil, but Atleti want him back at Chelsea in order to regain his fitness for the next round of international fixtures.

According to The Mail, Diego Simeone’s side will revive their interest Costa in January after they fell short of the Blues’ £50m valuation last week. The Spanish outfit had hoped to finalise a £40m deal with the Premier League champions, but the Blues’ hierarchy were reluctant to accept anything less than the asking price for the attacker.

As a result, Costa is stuck with the west London giants until the New Year at least while he has also been added to their Premier League squad, just in case he has a change of thought. Typically, Antonio Conte has one of the thinnest squads in the top-flight, and Costa’s inclusion has had no risk on their first-team players with just 21 registered for the first half of the campaign.

The former Atleti ace has previously suggested that he has been treated like a ‘criminal‘ ever since Conte sent a private text message to him stating that he has no future at Stamford Bridge. Conte laughed off the suggestions during a recent press conference, and he has also admitted that Costa is in the past with Alvaro Morata now regarded as the leading frontman.

A return to the English capital looks highly unlikely at the moment, but Atleti are concerned that the player going AWOL could affect his Spanish national team hopes ahead of next year’s tournament in Brazil. Costa has been working out with a personal trainer in Brazil, but this has done no good to his international prospects with manager Julen Lopetegui picking players purely on their showing rather than reputation.

Image – Getty

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