With all the comings and goings in the transfer window that has only recently slammed shut, there is almost one forgotten man in all of this and that is Chelsea’s exiled striker Diego Costa. Not long after winning a second Premier League title in three seasons for the West London club he was then told that his services would not be required at Stamford Bridge for this campaign.
The fact that Antonio Conte sent the message via text was somewhat harsh but the message is still the same, that being Costa is now persona non grata at Chelsea. So with that news broken and rumours ablaze as to his next port of call it only seemed natutal that the Spanish international would be departing to pastures new before the end of August.
Only that is the all important part in all of this and one thing that Chelsea have seemingly struggled to do, namely manage to sell Diego Costa. After the former Atletico Madrid forward heavily flirted with a move to China in January it was believed that he could eventually complete a move to the Chinese Super League.
But with the governing body then slapping a 100% tax on all foreign signings it meant that particular escape route out of London was then blocked off. So that then left another logical conclusion to appear in the frame, that being a return to his former club Atletico Madrid.
Only that possibility diminished when they were hit with a transfer ban and cannot register any new players until January 2018. It was ban that saw them lose out on Alexander Lacazette with a move all but complete and as we know now Atletico’s lose was very much Arsenal’s gain.
A move to Atletico and a chance to link up once again with Diego Simeone could still happen as the Spanish transfer window does not close until tonight (Friday September 1st) but will the player fancy sitting out the first half of the season due to the aforementioned transfer ban.
You could argue that it is probably better to sit in Madrid and be loved then stay in London and be banished and you would probably be right but Diego Costa is not a player who deals with things normally and has engineered a third option.
That of course being the fact that he has decamped in Brazil and decided that at the moment football is just not for him, a decision which is great for the player but one that has undoubtedly infuriated Chelsea as any value their asset did have is now decreasing with every Caipirinha that is consumed.
Maybe Chelsea only have themselves to blame or maybe Diego Costa is just making the most of a very bad situation, for all intents and purposes this is sticking two fingers up at the West London hierarchy and he is saying that he will be sold on his terms,
The other way you can look at it though is that Chelsea have so much money these days they can even afford to all but write off £40m. Whether that shows that player power is diminishing because clubs do not need to sell is another argument but where other clubs have managed to keep hold of their players they have at least not taken an extended summer break.
So what could be the end game here, in an ideal world Chelsea would like to sell the forward before the end of the Spanish transfer window with Atletico Madrid offering something of a rescue for Diego Costa, but it may well need a third club to help get the deal over the line
With Atletico’s ban they could use the assistance of another La Liga club to take Costa on loan for the first half of the season and then when Atletico are free to register players he would finally link up with his former manager. This would be the ultimate win win scenario.
The second scenario is that Atletico buy him and use between now and January 2018 to remove any of that Copacabana excess that the player would have accumulated over the last couple of months, this is not a perfect marriage more one of convenience.
The final one is that Chelsea fail to sell him and then do the best to try and demand their player return to training but you get the feeling that if they do not get this apparent nuisance off of their books then they are going to struggle to see their once star striker any time soon. I would imagine if Costa is not sold then his phone will be placed on silent for a very long time to come.