Costa has been allowed to miss the beginning of the Premier League champions’ pre-season and isn’t part of the squad that is jetting out to the Far East following a falling out with manager Antonio Conte.
Conte has told Costa he is not part of his plans for the coming campaign and the Spaniard has his heart set on a return to Atletico and a reunion with boss Diego Simeone.
How Chelsea could line up next season
Costa is currently holidaying in Brazil and filmed himself on Instagram partying in a Rojiblancos shirt which prompted quite the reaction from his followers, including teammate Cesc Fabregas.
Club and country teammate Fabregas posted the laughing emoji in response before Costa replied saying: “Give Conte a hug”.
A move back to La Liga looks likeliest but it has been a difficult summer for the Spanish giants who, following their transfer ban, began the summer keen to sign Alexandre Lacazette, Sandro and Costa, with outline agreements in place for all three.
But Lacazette chose Arsenal over sitting on the Atleti sidelines until January and Everton offered Sandro wages of £120,000 per week to snub a move within La Liga and unveiled their £5.1m signing last week in another blow to Atleti’s ambitions of strengthening their squad.
Costa missed the first day of Chelsea’s pre-season after staying in Brazil, though the Blues had not expected him to report at their Cobham training base and have not taken him on their pre-season tour of Asia.
Instead they intend to sell him to Atletico, and are holding out for £30m. With Diego Simeone increasingly agitated by his side’s inability to do business, the Blues expect…