Lensng-Thursday 22,2017- 3;29 PM
Chelsea are likely to receive only £52 million for Diego Costa as the Spanish striker closes in on a return to Atletico Madrid – an astonishing £35m reduction on their original valuation.
Manager Antonio Conte took the shock decision to inform the Spain international to inform him that he was no longer in his first-team plans in a brief and blunt message.
This caused a fall-out between manager and club when Costa made the revelation to reporters, with the board fearing that his price tag would be devalued if rival clubs knew he was no longer wanted.
That has proven to be the case, with Gianluca Di Marzio revealing that the club originally wanted a round €100m (£88m) for the Spaniard, but will now settle for just €60m (£52m).
Costa, meanwhile, has made his decision and wants to return to Atletico Madrid, even though it means sitting out the first half of the season.
Atleti are currently serving a transfer ban which was upheld despite a recent appeal, meaning they cannot register any new players until January 2018.
Although he had fears about not playing during a World Cup year, Costa is willing to take the risk in order to seal a dream return to Madrid, with only a fee needing to be agreed between the clubs now.
Negotiations continue as Chelsea face up to taking a £35m hit on their initial valuation, though he is now expected to move to Atletico imminently.
Costa is likely to be replaced in the Chelsea squad by Romelu Lukaku, with the club having been locked in talks for Everton ever since the season ended, and they are hopeful of concluding a deal shortly.