A question mark hangs over the future of Diego Costa following the revelation of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s dismissive text message.
The Italian manager was revealed to have informed Costa that he has no future at Chelsea via the text message, leaving the football world to wonder where we will see the two-time Premier League winner next season.
We analyse three potential suitors for next season, as well as the positives and negatives of each of those moves.
His former employers have already made headlines over possibly resigning the 28-year-old, who departed for Stamford Bridge in 2014 just months after ending Atletico Madrid’s 18-year drought for a La Liga title.
Positives – Would be joining a club and league he is already familiar with, and makes up one half of a deadly strike partnership with Antoine Griezmann. The two never got the chance to play together at Atleti, as Costa left for Chelsea as Griezmann joined from Real Sociedad.
Negatives – Will have to sit six months on the shelf due to Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban. The club have prepared a special preseason training program that will last until January, when Costa can be registered, and his inactivity could harm his chances of making the Spain squad for the 2018 World Cup.
A switch to Premier League rivals Manchester United would mirror the actions of their current manager, Jose Mourinho, who won the Premier League title with Costa at Chelsea in 2015.
Positives – Would be able to stay in England and reunite with a manager who understands his personality and style of play, whilst also covering a position where the club need reinforcements after releasing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Negatives – Costa’s relationship with Mourinho had reportedly soured during the calamitous 2015/16 campaign, when Mourinho was sacked, and his form suddenly picked up after Mourinho’s departure. Costa has long since spoken about Mourinho’s last few weeks at Chelsea and cleared the air about any perceived tension between the two, though.
The Italian giants have made no secret of their intentions heading into the new campaign after completing four signings already, and Costa’s agent is reportedly offering his client a move to San Siro this week.
Positives – Would join an exciting project at a club under new ownership and with ambitions to win the league and challenge in Europe once again, and would be the main man up front.
Negatives – Rather than playing in the Champions League as he would with Atletico Madrid or Manchester United, Costa would have to make do with Europa League football at AC Milan. He would also need to show patience at the club, first with adapting to a new country and league, and also with the gelling of multiple new signings at the club.