Atletico Madrid are continuing their pursuit of Diego Costa, despite Chelsea insisting that he is not for sale.
The Daily Mirror claim that Costa remains their 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 maintain their aggressive transfer tactics.
Atletico are keen to re-sign Costa and have become increasingly public in their attempts to unsettle the 27-year-old in recent times.
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.
Blues officials were then astonished to see quotes attributed to Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo that his club are talking to the player and are “close” to re-signing him.
Cerezo later denied making the comments, but Chelsea already feel Atletico have been disrespectful in their hunt for Costa and will now keep a close watch on their next move with the intention of issuing another warning, reminding the Spaniards he is their player and to back off.
Chelsea have long been admirers of Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann, but have never spoken about the France international publically or made any attempt to contact him.
The Costa episode has soured what had once been a good relationship between the two clubs. Chelsea sent goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on loan to Atletico for three seasons before taking him back in 2014, the same summer in which Costa moved to Stamford Bridge with Filipe Luis. The left back returned to the Vicente Calderon a year later.
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.