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.