Saturday, 22 July, 2017

Reason why Diego Costa could stay at Chelsea

Fernando Llorente GETTYSwansea striker Fernando Llorente is eager to reunite with Antonio Conte at Chelsea
Sammy Stanley | 09 July, 2017, 00:50

The controversial Chelsea striker has been pining for a move back to his former club under Diego Simeone, a manager he hugely respects.

"Atletico are one of them [the options], it doesn't mean not playing, they can give me to any team in Spain, Brazil or wherever, but I have to play", the 28-year-old said before Spain's World Cup qualifier against Macedonia recently.

The Spanish club are ready to put him on a special training programme to maintain his fitness until he can be registered to play in January.

The Spanish giants were hit by a transfer ban earlier this summer which stopped them signing Alexandre Lacazette ahead of Arsenal, but they remain in the hunt for Costa.

The Italian sent a text message to his top-scorer at the end of the season to thank him for his efforts and inform him he was not part of his plans for the next campaign.

Conte had set his heart on Romelu Lukaku and saw the Everton striker as the central piece in the jigsaw for next season before Manchester United came in to hijack the transfer.

Ideally, he would have liked to have seen more new recruits in position at this stage because he relies heavily on the fitness work done by his players during their first days of pre-season.

Antonio Conte will be fuming about the fact that his side were so close to sealing a move for the Belgian striker, but were out-muscled by United at the last moment.

He has still proven to be a force on the pitch, however, helping Chelsea to two Premier League titles and scoring 59 goals in 120 appearances in that time.

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