Chelsea striker Diego Costa is reportedly ready to discuss staying at the club with Antonio Conte amid a nightmare summer transfer window in their search for new players.
The Spain international has been strongly linked with an imminent return to Atletico Madrid after being told via text message by Conte that he was not in his plans for next season.
However, Costa could yet change his mind and hand Chelsea a major lifeline ahead of the new campaign as they fail to bring in any of their targets to replace him.
Despite a late bid for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, it seems likely that the Belgian’s move to Manchester United is still on after he agreed a contract and had a medical with the club in LA.
Chelsea have also been linked with Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata and Torino front-man Andrea Belotti, while underwhelming names such as Christian Benteke and Fernando Llorente are being talked about as possible backup options.
However, keeping Costa would be cheaper than the former pair and better than the latter two, so Conte will be delighted if reports that he’s open to staying are correct.
According to The Sun, the 28-year-old’s move to Atletico is in limbo somewhat, with the move far from ideal as the club would not be able to register him until January due to their transfer ban.
Costa on how Conte told him he was leaving
‘I’m going to be honest, the other day, Conte sent me a message saying I am not in his plans for Chelsea, so I’ll have to find a way out.
‘I love living in Madrid, but I have to think about my future.
‘It’s complicated because I cannot go four or five months without playing. I have no preference for a league, I just want to play.’
Costa wants to be playing as often as possible ahead of next summer’s World Cup, and could then be tempted to give it one final season at Stamford Bridge.