The Chelsea player Cesc Fabregas has paid tribute of his teammate Diego Costa ahead of his move to Atletico Madrid and said that the striker “deserves to be on the field.”

It is understood that Atletico Madrid will be paying more than £50 million to sign Costa, who must still pass a medical and agree on personal terms before the move can be confirmed.

Costa, who is also a Spanish forward, has been refusing to train at Chelsea in recent months in an attempt to force through a transfer and it seems that he has got his way as he is set to return to his former club next year when Atletico’s transfer ban ends.

Speaking to Marca Fabregas said, “It’s a shame for him more than anyone. Diego knew that signing for Atletico meant he could not play for a few months. It has been a difficult situation for him, for Chelsea. He deserves to be on the field.”

Important win today. Now to focus on wednesday in Madrid for another big game. 💪🏻

Публикация от Cesc Fàbregas (@cescf4bregas)

Both Costa and Fabregas signed with Chelsea in the summer of 2014 and helped the club win the Premier League title twice as well as a League Cup.

Fabregas described Costa as a friend and “never a rival” and said that over the last few years he has been the best No 9 in the world.

“I understood him myself perfectly. He knew my football, he read my passes and most importantly, he got on the end of them. He gives a lot to the team. It is not only the Diego you see on the field. He is a character that greatly encourages the group.”

Meanwhile, the team’s boss Antonio Conte, has said that he intends to return to Italy and doesn’t want to stay abroad for too long. However, he has refused to say how long he intends to stay at Chelsea, just that he misses his home country.