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Costa open to Conte peace talks — report

We’re breaking our own unwritten rules here, but this EXCLUSIVE report from The Sun’s Martin Lipton and Neil Custis is just outrageous enough (but in a good way) that we couldn’t pass it up.

The “remarkable twist” is that Costa is apparently “willing to have showdown talks” with Antonio Conte despite all the drama last season, despite all the drama last summer, despite the London weather, despite text-gate, despite “thanks for the seasono”, despite all that’s transpired in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.

It sounds unlikely. But what’s a summer transfer window without unlikely things happening?

The Sun claim that it is Costa’s agent, Jorge Mendes, who’s pushing for these “peace talks”, looking to advantage of the opportunity created by Chelsea’s incomprehensible failure on Romelu Lukaku and the massive gap that remains between what Chelsea value Costa at (£50-60m) and what Atlétio Madrid would be willing to pay (£20-26m). Costa would apparently need reparations in the form of a raise while Chelsea would receive a familiar and proven goal-scoring option. Costa’s commitment to the Chelsea cause has been (rightly or wrongly) questioned at times in each of the last two seasons, but when he’s on, he’s one of the best in the league.

Chelsea and Costa and Conte rowing back from the edge of the world with bridges burning all around them would be hilarious and possibly tremendous — last summer it was Costa who slinked back to Conte with tail tucked between his legs; now it’s Conte’s turn? If Chelsea are able to acquire a veteran backup striker in Llorente (or Benteke?), adding Costa back into the mix would surely be one of the best chances Chelsea have of defending our title and having a good campaign in Europe as well. (Not sure what would happen with Batshuayi in this scenario.)

This situation has seemed untenable since the end of the season. It still seems untenable, and this coming from The Sun doesn’t really change that feeling. But what I’m saying is that there might be a chance, I guess?

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