Report: “Unhappy” Diego Costa wants to leave Chelsea, return to Atletico Madrid

11 Comments

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.

[ RELATED: De Gea update ]

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?

[ VIDEO: Messi’s best goal for Barcelona? ]

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.

Russell hat trick snaps Sporting KC’s win streak (video)

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Leave a comment

Struggling, short-handed Sporting KC needed a star show to kickstart its summer, and Johnny Russell was ready to go.

Maybe the 29-year-old Scotsman was feeding off the buzz of his old club Derby County preparing for the Championship Playoff Final, but Russell scored thrice as Sporting took care of Seattle 3-2 in Washington on Sunday.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

The right winger scored his fifth, sixth, and seventh goals of the MLS season as Sporting won its first match since March 30.

Russell scored 35 goals with 34 assists in 205 matches with the Rams, but has destroyed that mark with KC. He now has 19 and 16 in 55.

Seattle loses ground on LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, while KC is now within four points of the playoff places.

 

 

Report: Newcastle in takeover talks with UAE billionaire

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Reports out of Northeast England say Newcastle United supporters who want owner Mike Ashley out at all costs have new hope.

United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is said to be in talks with Ashley about a takeover of the St. James’ Park-based club, though there’s a lot of work to do for a deal to be complete.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

One report goes as far as to say Ashley has agreed to accept $444 million for the Premier League club.

Sheikh Khaled, 61, was educated at American colleges Boston University and Michigan State. He’s the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and was turned down with a $2.5 billion bid for Liverpool last season.

From The Chronicle:

NUFC have confirmed some talks with Sheikh Khaled. But say there is still “some way” to go on a deal. Newcastle United refusing to make any further comment at this time.

Takeover talks are nothing new at Newcastle, and there does seem to be some heat to these reports, but Ashley and his crew have spun these stories of interest in the past. And with Magpies supporters waiting for news on Rafa Benitez‘s new deal, some will be way of a smoke screen for an inability to reach an agreement with the celebrated Newcastle manager.

Wondolowski scores 149th, 150th goals; Earthquakes win

Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

TORONTO (AP) Chris Wondolowski scored his 149th and 150th MLS goals in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday night.

The MLS career goals leader scored both from close range.

[ MORE: Kante to miss Europa League final ]

Wondolowski got a yard’s separation from Drew Moor and deftly redirected in Cristian Espinoza’s cross in the 37th minute to tie it at 1. The go-ahead goal in the 81st minute was a virtual replay, with Espinoza finding Wondolowski in space.

The San Jose striker has six goals in two games. He scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Chicago last weekend to surpass Landon Donovan’s league record of 145 goals and up his career total to 148.

Richie Laryea opened the scoring for Toronto (5-6-2) in the 28th minute

San Jose (5-6-2) won for the first time in six road games this season.

Chairman Mubarak: Other clubs are ‘jealous’ of Man City’s success

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes that other clubs — namely those who have fallen miles back of the back-to-back Premier League champions — are “jealous” of the club’s success.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante to miss Europa League final with new injury ]

The root of the perceived jealousy is, of course, Man City’s seemingly unlimited spending power which dwarves that of just about — if not — every other club in the PL. There’s a growing sense around the league — and around the world — that clubs like City, just to name one, are doing the game a disservice by distorting the transfer market and building an infallible super-team with the aid of unprecedented financial resources.

Mubarak believes that these feelings also stem from other clubs’ failed dealings in the transfer market: spending comparable — if not more — money on players who don’t justify that price tag the same way some of City’s big-money buys have done — quotes from the BBC:

“With success, there is a certain level of jealousy, envy, whatever you call it. That’s part of the game.

“It’s not easy for our competition, we know that. But the reality is, we didn’t buy the most expensive player in the Premier League [Paul Pogba], we didn’t buy the most expensive goalkeeper [Kepa Arrizabalaga], we didn’t buy the most expensive midfielder, we didn’t buy the most expensive striker [Romelu Lukaku].

“People make decisions, they’ve got to live by them. This is a well-run club.”

City’s financial dealings have regularly been in the headlines of late, as they are believed to have circumvented FFP rules by lying about sponsorship deals so as to balance a larger expenditure on transfer fees and player wages with revenue generated by the club.