The Diego Costa transfer saga picked up the pace suddenly over the last couple days, with contradicting reports about the striker submitting a transfer request and quotes by Atletico President Enrique Cerezo claiming that his club were close to signing Costa.
Today, according to the Telegraph, Chelsea, who are no doubt tired of Atletico's shenanigans, are set to issue a second warning to the Spanish club, warning them over their exceedingly aggressive pursuit of their former striker.
Wait, second warning? That's right, apparently Chelsea have already issued Atlético a warning earlier, which they have clearly just ignored. But Chelsea will now issue another "strongly worded" warning if Atlético continue their public pursuit of Costa. That'll learn 'em! (I'd love to be a fly on the wall if and when the aforementioned strong wording is being discussed though, I must admit.)
Madrid-based Marca (read: take with appropriate amounts of salt) have corroborated the Telegraph's report about the warning, but they also reveal that Chelsea have actually rejected a €60 million offer from Atletico for Costa. Plenty of opportunities for Atléti to take the hint and buzz off.
Antonio Conte addressed the situation, too, in his regularly scheduled pre-match press conference in Velden today. The Chelsea boss is confident that Diego isn't going anywhere. The striker is working hard and is fundamental to Chelsea's plans.
Conte: 'Diego Costa is our player, he's a fantastic player with fundamental importance. He's very happy and is working hard.' #CFCTour— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 19, 2016
Conte measured but resolute on Costa. 'Diego is our player. He’s a fantastic player for me. He is a player with fundamental importance.'— Mike Keegan (@MikeKeegan_DM) July 19, 2016
Conte 2/2: 'For me it’s no problem to read there is opportunity to go to another team because Diego stay with us. He is working very hard.'— Mike Keegan (@MikeKeegan_DM) July 19, 2016
Conte: 'We are Chelsea - one of the biggest clubs in the world for this reason I think Diego Costa must stay in the best team.'— Mike Keegan (@MikeKeegan_DM) July 19, 2016
The Diego Costa exit rumors have rumbled along boringly for quite a few months, but now it sounds like we're getting close to a resolution. Fortunately, that resolution looks to be favorable towards Chelsea and Costa staying.