Diego Costa

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Diego Costa releases statement after leaving Chelsea

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Diego Costa had a few things to get off his chest after his move from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid was made official on Tuesday.

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With Atletico hosting Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday at their brand spanking new Wanda Metropolitano home, there could be no better timing for Costa to come out with these comments.

Of course, the Spanish international striker cannot play for Atletico until January when their transfer ban ends but right now he is focusing on the past after winning two titles in three seasons at Chelsea.

“Some cycles begin while others end. My cycle at Chelsea began three years ago – three remarkable years in all aspects – and I will never forget it. Two championship titles, a Community Shield, 120 matches, 59 goals and 24 assists later this cycle has ended. Not the way I would have wanted – far from it – but the best way possible.

“The wonderful fans of such equally admirable club and all team mates, as well as all clinical, administrative and logistics staff will remain forever in my mind and in my heart. Will bring them with me with the certainty that I will always be by their side as well, and I’m sure they will understand the reason why this cycle of mine has now ended – because I could not lose faith in myself. Thank you Chelsea for everything!”

There’s no doubt that Costa moving on was the best option for everyone. Chelsea’s boss Antonio Conte had told him he was no longer needed and the Blues held out and received $76 million from Atleti for his services.

Now Costa, 28, is back where he wanted to be after leaving Atletico in the summer of 2014 but never really settling in England despite scoring 59 goals in all competitions and being Chelsea’s leading goalscoer in each of the past three seasons.

His combative nature seems perfect for Diego Simeone’s Atletico and even after a tumultuous summer surrounding his eventual departure, most Chelsea fans will wish him well and will remember the important goals he scored as they won two titles in three seasons.

All’s well that ends well. Sort of.

Antonio Conte thanks Diego Costa after Chelsea departure

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These will likely be the final questions Antonio Conte faces about Diego Costa.

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On Thursday it was announced that Chelsea has sold their leading scorer in each of the past two seasons back to Atletico Madrid with a protracted fallout between Conte and Costa finally coming to a logical conclusion.

After Conte reportedly sent Costa a text message stating he was no longer needed at Chelsea, just days after they lifted the Premier League title together, the Brazilian born striker refused to return to preseason training and remained in Brazil with family as he demanded to be sold back to Atletic Madrid.

He was fined by the club but has finally got his wish with a $77 million move back to Atleti sealed for the 28-year-old who won two Premier League titles in three season at Chelsea but also brought controversy with him on many occasions as the bullish striker upset opponents and teammates alike.

Speaking at Stamford Bridge on Friday ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Stoke City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com) Conte thanked Costa for his efforts.

“About this issue, we want to thank him for what he did with this club. We wish him all the best for the future,” Conte said.

Asked about the deterioration of his own relationship with Costa and if his team will miss the goals of the Spanish international, Conte was less open.

“Now it is not important, I am not interested to continue talking about this issue,” Conte said. “I am working with my players and am happy to work them them. We must work and fight to win every competition. We are Chelsea and we need to try to do this in this season. We have to try to do our best in every competition. Our target is to do our best every day, every week, every month in this season.”

Stating multiple times that he was “not interested in talking about the past” and that only the current and building for the future was important, Conte did thank Costa once again and said he will remember the success they achieved together last season.

“I do not forget we won together last season,” Conte said. “For sure we want to thank him for his effort last season with us but not only last season, the period he played for Chelsea.”

With this saga now over, Chelsea will turn to Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi to score the goals they need to be successful on all four fronts this season.

After recovering well from a sluggish start to the season it appears Conte’s decision to oust Costa will, long-term, be the correct one. Even though Morata has taken a little time to settle and Batshuayi blows hot and cold, the Blues have goals everywhere you look with Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian and others able to chip in.

There’s only one Diego Costa and Conte must be somewhat relieved to see the back of him.

Chelsea sells Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid

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We all suspected this would happen, and it finally occurred on Thursday.

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Chelsea has announced the transfer of Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid for roughly $77 million after spending  seasons with the Premier League side.

The 28-year-old will re-join Atleti in January during the winter transfer window. Atletico was banned from making transfers over the summer, which kept the move on hold.

Costa played for the La Liga side on two separate stints, first from 2007-2009 and then 2010-2014 after a brief move to Real Valladolid in between.

In his time with the Blues, the Spanish international scored 59 goals in all competitions for the Londoners, and helped the club to two Premier League titles.

The sale of Costa isn’t unexpected after the striker’s falling out with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte towards the latter half of the 2016/17 PL season.

The Italian boss revealed to Costa via text at the conclusion of the team’s PL-winning campaign that the goalscorer would no longer be needed at Stamford Bridge, prior to Chelsea acquiring striker Alvaro Morata over the summer.

Fenerbahce holding out hope for Costa loan before Friday deadline

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Fenerbahce is hoping that Diego Costa‘s unrest at Chelsea could help it land an elite striker for a few months.

The Turkish powers are looking to take Costa on loan, a move the BBC says seems unlikely but possible due to Turkey’s transfer window running until Friday.

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Costa, who turns 29 next month, is widely expected to move to Atletico Madrid once the Spanish club’s transfer ban is lifted in January.

Fener manager Aykut Kocaman admitted his club made an offer, and that talks were progressing well for some time. He said it now looks unlikely but added that talks continue between Chelsea, Costa, and Fener.

The Turkish club boasts Robin Van Persie, Roberto Soldado, Mathieu Valbuena, Martin Skrtel, and Mauricio Isla, and the addition of Costa would certainly help its chances of returning to the UEFA Champions League.

However unlikely, it’s worth monitoring as Friday progresses toward the deadline.

Costa omitted from Chelsea Champions League roster

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Diego Costa, despite being reportedly advised by Atletico Madrid to return to Chelsea training, has been omitted from the Blues’ Champions League roster.

With the Spanish international still in his native Brazil and refusing to train with Chelsea after being left out of Antonio Conte‘s first-team plans, he has put himself in a difficult position.

The club he wishes to rejoin, Atletico Madrid, reportedly told him it is in his best interests to return to Chelsea training to ease tensions with hopes of a January move still on the cards.

Had Costa moved in the summer, he would have had to wait until January to play for Atletico due to their transfer/registration ban, but at least he could train with the club. As it stands, he is not training with anyone and instead has been across the ocean. The Spanish club is likely hoping he will stay match fit prior to any transfer in January, although that would risk injury and a potential Chelsea return.

Nevertheless, with Costa not on the Blues roster, he is unable to play for Chelsea in the European competition, meaning he won’t be cap-tied should a transfer materialize over the winter and Atletico Madrid remain in the competition that long.

On the flip side, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was included on Manchester United’s Champions League roster despite still recovering from his ACL tear back in April. He wasn’t expected back until January, but this could signal an earlier return, since teams are able to make roster changes after the group stage, and Mourinho therefore could have omitted the Swede from his group stage roster with plans to add him after returning.