Atletico Madrid are reportedly opening their negotiations with Chelsea over Diego Costa’s transfer in the form of a €30 million (£26 million) bid.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is said to want around £50 million for the player who arrived from the Spanish side for £32 million in 2014.
Such a remarkably underwhelming opening bid for a player in the prime of his career such as Diego Costa is apparently because of Antonio Conte’s text message regarding the player’s future going public.
The obvious difficulty for Diego Costa with returning to Atletico Madrid is that he cannot play for them until 2018.
The FIFA-imposed transfer ban would mean Costa would have to be loaned out for the first six months before he can be registered for Atletico Madrid.
This raises a double concern for the Spaniard. First, Atletico Madrid need to identify a club willing and able to take Diego Costa on a short-term basis.
Second, if the club were unable to secure a loan deal, leaving Costa on the shelf for the first half of the 2017/18 season, then how would that affect his chances of making the Spain squad for the 2018 World Cup?
Chelsea are currently in the process of sorting out a contract extension for Premier League-winning manager Antonio Conte, which would confirm that the Spanish international definitely has no future at the club.