Costa has really looked a mere shadow of the striker who flourished in his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge and only managed to score just four goals this season.
The controversial Spanish striker also had a run-in with manager Jose Mourinho during Chelsea’s 4-0 Champions League victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv last month. He even threw his bib at the Portuguese boss during the goalless draw against Tottenham after he was dropped from the starting eleven.
Mourinho is right now looking for a lethal striker in the market, while Thomas Muller being the latest to be included in the target list. However, according to Spanish media outlet Deportivo Mundo, Atletico Madrid are planning to bring back Costa to Vicente Calderon and they are ready to pay Costa’s £28m release clause.
If Costa returns to Atletico Madrid, Jackson Martinez could be the striker who will make way for him as the Columbian failed to impress since the summer arrival in 2014.
Despite the ongoing rumours, Mourinho believes there is nothing to worry about. The Blues manager has quickly ruled out any bust-up with his striker with words of ‘hugs and kisses’ and insists he is happy with Costa’s response at White Hart Lane, saying the behaviour as normal.
“If he wants to hurt me it would not be with a bib. I have a good relationship with him,” Mourinho said. He also warned that the striker should feel lucky to be lasted far longer than Eden Hazard, John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and others before being benched.
But truly speaking, there is a problem, whether Mourinho publicly acknowledges it or not.
Let’s Put aside the fact that he has only managed to score four goals in 17 total appearances this season, Costa’s attitude and behaviour on the field have been terrible. It’s a point regularly been discussed over the last 2-3 months, but he seems to be far more interested in starting a fight rather than actually playing. In short, he has become a liability now. Last season it didn’t matter that much because he was netting goals consistently over the first half of the season but now it really does matter if Chelsea have to turn around their disastrous campaign.
However, Chelsea are also tracking Atletico star Antoine Griezmann, who has a reportedly £48m release clause in his contract with Diego Simione’s side. The Argentine coach has asked the club hierarchy for a midfield signing in January transfer window, though will not shut the door for Costa.