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Diego Costa, Romelu Lukaku rumors return with a vengeance

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It's been less than 24 hours since Atlético Madrid spent big on a striker not named Diego Costa, and yet the Diego Costa exit rumors have already returned.

It turns out that there are other teams who might be looking for a striker (Napoli, anyone?), or Atlético might have even more money (plus Fernando Torres can only score so many), or ... or it's just a confusing situation and no one really knows what's happening, if anything.

With the Gameiro news, we had real hope of finally getting to put all this nonsense to bed, but now it's the Chelsea head coach himself who's reignited the rumors.  Instead of flatly denying any speculation, he left the door wide open.

"I speak for today and today Costa is Chelsea's player. Tomorrow if you ask me if Costa will remain with us, I don't know."

"I can say that today Costa is a Chelsea player. He didn't play in these games because of injury and if he solves the injury and I see in training he's in good shape it can be possible to see him in the next game against AC Milan [on Wednesday]. But I can tell you only this."

-Antonio Conte; source: Evening Standard

A diplomatic answer in a situation that, if Costa were to stay for sure, called for no such diplomacy.  Of course, this could all be just more nonsense – but with this much horsesh*t on the ground, there's got to be a pony somewhere.

And speaking of prized steeds, the second part of this developing situation is the return of the Romelu Lukaku rumors.

Chelsea supposedly had a £57m bid rejected in the last 24 hours for the former Chelsea hopeful, but we remain "confident" of being able to get a deal done around £60m even as Everton hold out for £75m.  Regardless of a final price, it's sure to be an eye-watering sum.  Then again, in a world where Gonzalo Higuain goes for almost €100m, what's £60m for Romelu Lukaku?

Conte refused to be drawn into commenting about another team's player, but something's afoot.

"I don't want to speak about players of other teams. This is not respectful for the club or for my players. I prefer not to speak."

-Antonio Conte; source: Evening Standard

Possibly interesting days ahead.  Is there a situation where we would have both Costa and Lukaku?  Somehow, I doubt it.