Despite securing the Premier League title, being named in the PFA Team of the Season and scoring more goals than any other Chelsea player in his debut season in west London, Diego Costa is not a happy man.
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Costa, 26, is apparently finding it hard to settle in London and a report from Spanish publication Marca claims that he is “unhappy” with life in England and has approached his former club Atletico Madrid about returning to the Spanish capital.
Jose Mourinho’s side ripped the PL apart in the opening months of the season with a fully-fit Costa firing on all cylinder. But his nagging hamstring injuries returned in the second half of the campaign, plus his ban for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can and several other incidents involving, but not limited too, simulation, saw Costa quickly become public enemy number one in England’s top-flight.
With Chelsea winning the PL, poised to challenge for the UEFA Champions League next season and many believing prolonged success is on the way at Stamford Bridge, why does Costa want to leave?
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The Brazilian born striker first signed for Atletico as a 19-year-old and after various loan stints and a move away to Valladolid, he returned to the Vicente Calderon in 2010 permanently and flourished under Diego Simeone from 2012 onwards. Simply put, Costa feels at home at Atletico. He was a nomad for most of his career and after being cast aside by his homeland of Brazil he has since switched his citizenship to Spanish and seems to have a deep-rooted connection to Spain for obvious reasons.
Costa won the La Liga title with Atletico in 2014 before Chelsea triggered the release clause in his contract and came within minutes of winning the UCL with the Madrid outfit in the same season. His bond with Simeone’s side is strong and although success and fortune has followed him to Chelsea, if he’s not happy in his everyday life then that could be a big problem going forward. Costa is understood to have doubled his wages when he arrived at Chelsea from Atletico last summer for a fee of around $35 million, but Marca’s report states that he would be willing to take a significant paycut to move back to Spain.
Since this report was published, Chelsea have reacted by saying that Costa is “not for sale at any price” and it would be difficult to understand why they would want to sell the Spanish international who scored 20 times in 26 appearances in the PL last season. Without him, the focal point of their attack has vanished and they only have Loic Remy in reserve with Didier Drogba moving on to a new adventure this summer.
His value to Mourinho cannot be quantified and although the reports of him being unhappy may well be true, it’s unlikely that the Blues will let Costa leave and stop him feeling blue anytime soon.