After going a bit quiet for about a week, the Diego Costa news cycle is spinning back up with a report from Madrid’s AS, which claims that Atlético Madrid are “close” to re-signing Diego Costa from Chelsea. That part is not so interesting, since that’s been the assumed outcome for the past month, if not the past year.
The part that is interesting is that a plan has apparently been finally figured out for what to do with the striker until January. Due to their transfer ban, Atléti cannot register new signing (and thus play them in official games) until the winter transfer window.
According to AS, the plan is simply for Costa to bide his time, train with the first-team for those first four months of the season and then hit the ground running for the second half of the season. It’s the same plan that Barcelona went with for their transfer ban period signings, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal.
A plan to loan Costa out for the first few months (from Chelsea, not Atlético) before moving to Spain in January was mooted, but apparently the simpler solution won out in the end.
The big question now, and one that AS provide no insight to, is just how much Atléti are going to pay for all this. Their initial maximum of £20m had been increased to £26m, but Chelsea are still supposedly wanting something closer to £50m. If the two teams can reach some sort of “middle ground” as AS put it, we might end up with something close to what Chelsea paid three years ago (£32m).