Diego Costa

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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.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman hints at interest in Diego Costa

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Wayne Rooney and Diego Costa on the same team? If Everton manager Ronald Koeman gets his way, we could see this happen.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Koeman hinted that he’d give a “warm welcome” to any good player, including the Chelsea misfit striker.

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“I said always a warm welcome for every good player and he’s a good player,” Koeman said. “We are still looking to bring a striker in.”

Costa remains in Brazil, holding out from Chelsea after being told to train with the reserves. The team has so far preferred him to transfer to a club in China for a large transfer fee, but Costa has said he’d rather move to Atletico Madrid or somewhere he is more comfortable. Costa wouldn’t be able to move to Atletico Madrid until January at the earliest due to a transfer ban.

It seems unlikely that Everton could afford to sign Costa considering what Chelsea would likely want – Costa was signed for a reported $41 million in 2014 – as a transfer fee. It will come down to whether Chelsea are willing to let Costa sit in Brazil, potentially dropping his value, or if they’d be willing to offload him to the best offer.

However, if Costa and Rooney could combine up top, it would be a pretty fearsome frontline for Everton and perhaps put them in contention for the top four.