Despite efforts to force a move out of Stamford Bridge since June, Diego Costa remains a Chelsea player. The club have given Diego extended time off (i.e. kept him far away from the rest of the squad) to figure out a solution to his predicament. A return to Atlético Madrid is his preferred option, however the Spanish club have their hands tied by a transfer ban as well as their own financial situation which has seen them unable to meet Chelsea's demands.
But Atlético are not the only option on Diego's table, with his agent Jorge Mendes recently beginning to re-explore the AC Milan option, who, as it turns out, are also keen. In an interview to QS, AC Milan director Massimiliano Mirabelli confirmed the Rossoneri interest in the Spanish-Brazilian striker (as well as in Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinic). Apparently Milan’s earlier reported interested in the likes of Morata and Belotti has been downgraded to slightly cheaper options.
“We are working for a new striker and we cannot make a mistake [Fiorentina striker Nikola] Kalinic and [Diego] Costa are on our list.”
-Massimiliano Mirabelli; Source: QS via Inside Futbol
But even if there is actual interest in Costa, any potential deal is becoming tougher by the day. At least that’s Chelsea’s fear, according to the Times, who are reporting today that Chelsea are concerned that Costa is (once again) out of shape — despite a club-prescribed training regiment sent his way — and have thus dropped the asking price to just £35m. Previous reports claimed Chelsea were looking for something more in the range of £40-50m.
While Diego was initially against the idea of leaving England for any place other than Atletico, for the sake of his own career and his chance of taking part in next summer’s World Cup with Spain, it might behoove him (and not his lawyers) to start taking things a little bit more seriously.