Chelsea striker Diego Costa has given a shockingly open and honest interview in which he admits to trying to force a transfer away from Stamford Bridge last summer.
Spain international Costa says his relationship with Blues manager Antonio Conto got off to a rocky start because of his campaign to secure a move back to former club Atletico Madrid.
Conte took over as Chelsea manager after Euro 2016 in July and, although he has enjoyed a fabulous first season in England, it could have been all so different had his leading goal scorer got what he wanted.
Costa told El Larguero, as translated by Sky Sports: “Atletico knows I have a special feeling for the team, I lived the best moment of my career there. El Cholo (Diego Simeone) knows it wasn’t impossible for me to come back to Atletico.
“The relationship with Conte didn’t start well because when he arrived I told him I wanted to go to Atletico. Chelsea’s fans love me a lot, even more than in Atletico, figure that!
“When Atletico had to wait for me they didn’t, there was still a month to go in the transfer market.
“I’ve done everything to come back to Atletico Madrid but I wouldn’t fight the same to return. When Atletico didn’t wait for me, I had to go to Conte with the tail between my legs.”
Costa makes no secret of his affection for Atletico, which makes one think he may try to force a move again if one becomes possible this summer.
Atletico will presumably be in the market for a new forward if they fail to keep hold of star striker Antoine Griezmann.