Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has spent a good portion of his 2016 calendar year thinking and hoping and talking about Diego Costa. We here at WAGNH started tuning him out after a while, but he still managed to pop in several times with some choice quotes.
Here he is even before the turn of the year, hinting at certain possibilities.
"Right now, Diego is a Chelsea player and he has to focus on Chelsea. But you never know what will happen in football, and sometimes players do return to their former clubs."
Then, after the winter transfer window saw Atléti cash-in on quickly depreciating asset Jackson Martinez, Cerezo went on Radio COPE to state his intent to wrest Costa back from Chelsea.
CEREZO en @deportescope: "Jackson no se adaptó. La operación a 3 bandas ha sido maravillosa para todos. Intentaremos traer a Diego Costa".— elpartidodelas12 (@partidodelas12) February 4, 2016
A couple months later, as the summer started looming on the horizon, Cerezo chimed in again.
"He has a contract with Chelsea. There are many times when, as much as a I want a player, there is a contract. To negotiate with Chelsea can be really tough, almost impossible."
And following that up a week later with
"I think it's difficult [Costa coming home] but as far as we are concerned we would love it if he came back here. [...] Whether he can come back or not is another thing but the relationship has always been fantastic. He is OK because he is at a good club. I don't know whether they will be in the Champions League this year."
This is right around the time we started ignoring him, but with all the transfer request stories floating around lately, we had start paying attention again.
"We're looking for a new striker, and we always like to get the biggest players we can."
"Costa played for us for a few years and he's a really good player, no one can deny that. I don't know if Costa has spoken to Conte, but we're working to hard bring the best players to Atleti."
Until now, Cerezo's chirping has amounted to not much more than an annoying little sideshow. But the rumors keep intensifying, especially after further quotes from the Atléti president started making the rounds late yesterday.
"Diego Costa? We like him a lot, I'll admit it. We're talking with the player and we're working to bring him back to Atletico Madrid. We're close, but don't make me say any more."
So while all the local sources are saying that Costa isn't leaving, the Atléti president continues to stoke the flames and keep the conversation alive.
But Chelsea may be getting a bit annoyed themselves. A couple hours after the above quotes went live, Cerezo contacted local newspaper AS to deny ever making that statement.
Which, fair enough ... but then he said something that's a flat out lie.
"I do not speak of players on other clubs."
-Enrique Cerezo; source: AS
And I do not speak of Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo being a big fat liar who keeps talking about players at other clubs then trying to act all innocent about it.