Enrique Cerezo, the president of Atletico Madrid, has played down his team’s interest in Diego Costa saying that he remains a Chelsea player “at the moment”. His comments came as speculation continued to mount over the Spain international’s future.
Costa, who used to play for Atletico, looks likely to leave Chelsea this summer after his relationship with manager Antonio Conte deteriorated. However, the situation is made more complicated by Atletico’s FIFA transfer ban and their problems in meeting the financial demands of both Chelsea and Costa.
Costa is currently on holiday at home in Brazil while both teams are busy with preseason training and games. Last weekend he published an Instagram video of himself wearing a Rojiblanco shirt.
However, Cerezo has said that Costa’s choice of clothing doesn’t change the situation.
Speaking at a dinner organised at Atletico’s camp to the north of Madrid he said, “Costa is a Chelsea player at the moment, and you know for a long time now that we cannot sign anyone [this summer]. This shows that pyjamas come in all different colours. Everyone can put on whichever ones they want.”
He went on to describe Costa as a “magnificent” player and said that he “will return to Spain someday”.
Cerezo was asked if he had spoken to Costa this summer and said that they have had little contact since he made the €38 million move to Chelsea in 2014.
“It is a long time since I spoke with him,” he said. “At least a year, since he left here. I have seen him with the [Spain] national team, but spoken to him very little.”
Despite their transfer ban Atletico has moved to sign Vitolo from Sevilla, triggering his €36.5 million release clause. He will be on loan at Las Palmas for the first half of the season before returning to Altetico in January when he can register to play for them.