Diego Costa’s stay at Chelsea is seemingly coming to an end after manager Antonio Conte personally texted the Spaniard to push him through the exit door. The Brazilian-born striker has already lined up a potential return to Atletico Madrid, and the move will more or less be completed once both clubs reach an agreement over the transfer fee.
With Atleti currently on a transfer embargo until the New Year, Costa is unlikely to sit on the executive box, but rather play regular first-team football somewhere on a short-term loan. Plenty of clubs continue to be associated with the former Brazil international, and Calcio Insider looks into three possibilities for the 28-year-old marksman.
Besiktas – Turkey: The Turkish Super Lig champions have a great fanbase, although they can be volatile at times. Just last week, the club’s faithful urged Costa to move to Istanbul via his Instagram post where he received more than 1.8 million comments. Apart from their domestic competition, Besiktas have also directly qualified for the Champions League, but Atleti would definitely prevent Costa’s participation to avoid him being Cup-tied.
Tianjin Quanjian – China: The Chinese Super League club had made a potential world-record attempt to sign Costa back in January, but the Blues were not keen to part ways with the striker – despite his rift with the manager. Costa could not replicate a similar performance following the bust-up, and it is suggested that he could turn down Tianjin altogether as a lower level of competition could hamper his chances with Spain ahead of next year’s World Cup.
AC Milan – Italy: The Rossoneri had an excellent tie up with Atleti during the transfer of Fernando Torres. Milan initially pursued him from Chelsea in 2014 before he was loaned out to Diego Simeone’s side six months later. Torres joined permanently from Milan last summer, and he remains vital to their first-team plans. Likewise, Torres, Costa could follow a similar route on a temporary deal, but the wages remain a potential stumbling block.
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