Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo seems to have ended his club’s transfer pursuit for Chelsea star Diego Costa.
While speaking to the Spanish press, the club chief hailed Costa for what he gave to Atletico in his first spell at the club, but said that for now, he remains Chelsea’s player.
Costa was not at his best for the Blues last term, scoring only 12 Premier League goals, and reports suggested he was also keen to make the move back to Spain.
With Chelsea’s growing interest in re-signing Romelu Lukaku, that possibility seemed even more likely, but Cerezo has now almost certainly ended any chance of a move happening this summer.
“Diego has a contract with Chelsea and he belongs to Antonio Conte’s team,” Cerezo told Marca.
“Chelsea are our friends, just as the great Atletico man Diego Costa is our friend. But his place is with Chelsea and we are sure that he will be successful there.
“We cherish Diego for what he has given us and he knows where his home is.”
The Daily Mirror last week claimed that Costa remains Atletico’s first choice option upfront as Diego Simeone aims to solve Atletico’s striking problem.
Chelsea have already contacted Atletico Madrid warning them about previous comments regarding Costa and were prepared to make contact again with a more strongly-worded rebuke if the Spanish club maintains their aggressive transfer tactics.
Costa struggled to adapt to life in England and became frustrated during his second season in the Premier League, but has promised new head coach Antonio Conte that he will give him everything.
That has not stopped Atletico’s attempted courtship and Chelsea were earlier this month forced to deny stories from Spain that Costa had put in a transfer request.
Conte has held more than one round of talks with Costa since being appointed by Chelsea and wants to play him in a new two-man strike force this season.