The Blues striker is refusing to return to the Premier League champions as he pushes for a move to Atletico Madrid
Instead, it turns out he was just passing through.
Diego Costa is refusing to return to Chelsea as he seeks a move away from Stamford Bridge
The Spanish striker is wanted b y his former side Atletico Madrid
What a shame it’s come to this for Chelsea and their snarling forward.
Together they lifted two League titles but the striking Brazilian will be remembered for taking on a ruthless Russian regime worth £10bn.
There is no way back – just consciously uncoupling as the lawyers on both sides thrash out a costly, complicated agreement.
Costa claims he is off to Spain to sit this out until Atletico Madrid and Chelsea agree a transfer fee for the volatile forward.
Chelsea, careful not to jeopardise their own legal position, are in no rush to do business and because of Atletico’s transfer ban, Costa can’t kick a ball for them until next January anyway.
The only winners in all this mess are the lawyers.
The Brazilian-born Spanish international was a firm fan favourite with the Blues
Boss Antonio Conte sent Costa a text message that he was not in his plans for this season
Costa remains on Chelsea’s books, with a gushing biography still on the website and some shiny new training kit with his squad number 19 neatly folded away at the training ground.
Costa, scorer of 59 goals in 120 appearances for Chelsea, will never wear it again. He has made his position clear.
Over the next few weeks, he intends to force through a return to Atletico, to be reunited with boss Diego Simeone in their sparkly new stadium on the outskirts of the city.
For some reason, he never quite took to life in London.
The neighbours frequently complained to the club about his late night parties and his fondness for a traditional Brazilian BBQ went too far.
Even learning the language seemed too much of a chore for a player who relied on a translator whenever he needed to speak to a Chelsea official.
When he was scoring goals – 20 in the league during last season’s title triumph – Chelsea indulged him, protected him, lauded him.
They overlooked his frequent transgressions, his party-loving lifestyle and explosive, combustible personality. Instead, Chelsea seem to enjoy having him around the place.
Diego Costa is trying to force through a move back to La Liga side Atletico Madrid
The 28-year-old won two Premier League titles with the West Londoners in three years
Along with David Luiz, he was always one of the first to put his name forward when the club had visits from charities or from disadvantaged kids.
That manner, his ability to put a smile on the face of children and his fun-loving personality impressed the Stamford Bridge hierarchy.
They warmed to his petulant, mischievous manner, not to mention his goals.
And he is a loss to the Premier League, of sorts.
This stand-off has put Chelsea in a tricky position with the 40,000 fans who idolised him, worshipped him and took to loving him.
They sold him as one of their own – presenting him as blue through and through when he tangled with Premier League defenders.
His iconic status and his relationship with the fans, means the club are tip-toeing around the issue as they cannot afford to alienate the supporters. Chelsea are aware that the fans, whatever the rights and wrongs of this grisly episode, would take him back in a heartbeat.
This loveable rogue, 28, signed from Atletico by Jose Mourinho in July 2014, could easily set their pulses racing again.
They would flutter their eyelashes and think back to that majestic double one-two against Southampton last April before he beat Fraser Forster from close range.
Chelsea outcast Diego Costa plays foot volley ball on a beach in Brazil with pals
Chelsea ace Diego Costa parties in Atletico shirt – and mocks Antonio Conte
They would laugh at the time when he lifted his armpits and gestured to Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross that he pen and inks.
Or they would get giddy about the moment that he ambushed Antonio Conte’s title-winning press conference at the Hawthorns by threatening to set off a fire extinguisher.
But Costa is an old flame now. His lawyers are relying on the text message Conte sent, without the authorisation of the Chelsea board, to get him out this hole.
While he is in it, digging himself deeper and deeper, Chelsea have taken to fining him one week’s wages for each week he does not show up at Cobham.
Costa being Costa, he intends to fight it.
When it comes to the crunch, the Blues, of course, have some ammo of their own. To start with, there are the four separate transfers requests Costa has made since Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016.
Diego Simeone is only willing to spend £30million on the forward, as Chelsea hold out for £50m
Diego Costa scored 59 goals in 120 appearances for Chelsea
After the first, during the club’s pre-season tour to America that summer, Costa refused to train for three days.
He made a further attempt to get away before the season started, another in January when he wanted to move to China and now this.
It has disrupted Chelsea’s preparations for the season – far more than anybody ever realised before last Saturday’s chaotic 3-2 home defeat against Burnley.
They will be missing captain Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas against Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday after their red cards on the opening weekend.
And Conte will also be without another player, a guy who could have made all the difference on a day like that.
Sadly, Costa will never be able to pull on that blue shirt again.
The Belgian scored twice against West Ham on Sunday to put an immediate market down in the Golden Boot race.
Harry Kane, who has NEVER scored a goal in August, is 2/1.
And there is value to be had in Alexandre Lacazette.
He is 8/1 even after scoring on his debut against Leicester last week.
Sun Bets have a blinding special offer for top scorer.
If you bet £25 on any player to top the table at the end of the season, they’ll give a £5 free bet for every game he scores in until October.
The offer is valid until midnight August 27 and is open to ALL customers.
BET £25 ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SCORER AND GET A FREE £5 BET FOR EVERY GAME HE SCORES IN
Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog
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