Chelsea ace Diego Costa isn’t ‘close’ to exit as Atletico Madrid clear up speculation

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has dismissed quotes attributed to him suggesting that the club are ‘close’ to re-signing Diego Costa from Chelsea.

The Spanish forward has been linked with a return to his former club this summer, and it appeared as though the move was gathering pace on Monday.

According to GazzaMercato, Cerezo was quoted as saying: “We like Costa a lot, I admit it. We have spoken to the player and we’re working to bring him back to Madrid. It’s close, but I can’t say any more than that.”

However, in complete contrast to those supposed comments, he later told AS: “I do not speak of players at other clubs.”

In turn, GazzaMercato went on to change Cerezo’s quotes in their original story, removing ‘it’s close’ from the piece to merely leave it as Atleti and Chelsea talking about a possible deal.

The 27-year-old helped Chelsea win the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge, but injuries and a loss of form as well as temperamental issues saw him endure a tough campaign last year.

Having missed out on the Spain squad for Euro 2016, Costa has been given the summer to recharge his batteries, get healthy and get back to his best, but it remains to be seen whether or not he plays an important part in Conte’s plans moving forward.

There have been conflicting reports throughout the summer over his preferred move ahead of next season, but although Cerezo didn’t suggest that a deal was close with Chelsea, he has ultimately left the door open for a return for Costa who is still admired by boss Diego Simeone.

The pair worked well together prior to the player’s move to London, with Atleti winning La Liga and reaching the Champions League final in 2014.

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