Chelsea star Costa open to Atletico Madrid return but rules out China

Antonio Conte has told his striker to look for a new club, though the Spain international's search for a home may prove a little complicated

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has again ruled out a summer transfer to the Chinese Super League - but is leaving the door open for a return to Atletico Madrid.

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The Spain international revealed Blues boss Antonio Conte has made it clear that he does not feature in his plans ahead of the 2017-18 Premier League season, leaving Costa searching for a new club.

Costa had previously fallen out with Conte following a January bid from the Far East which the Stamford Bridge club duly dismissed. The 28-year-old remains unsettled in the English capital and has previously made it clear to the Chelsea board that he would like to leave the club.

Costa, who scored 20 league goals for Chelsea last season, is keen on a move to former club Atletico Madrid, but their failed appeal against a transfer ban has complicated that option.

Questioned on whether he may yet have a future in west London, Costa told AS: “Things do not work in that way. The fight for the place has to be fair to stay and fight, but the fight is not fair and I have to leave.

“I have a contract of two years with Chelsea, they have to decide.

"If they sell me, I will look for the best choice. Atletico is among them, it would not mean not playing, they can loan me out to some team in Spain, Brazil or wherever, but I have to play. Everyone knows that I have a lot of affection for them.

Diego Costa - Atletico Madrid

"Atletico is a club that I have a lot of affection for, independently of whether I go there or not, I will continue to love them."

AC Milan have also been linked with a move for Costa, while the Brazilian-born Spain international has rejected the idea of a move to China, as it would jeopardise his hopes of playing in the World Cup.

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"Of course I rule out China, I have to think about the World Cup," he said.

"I have a contract with Chelsea, they have to know what to do with me and I have to wait and know the decision that my club takes.”

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