With all the subtlety of an elephant in an elevator, Chelsea striker Diego Costa blabbed on Spanish radio that a return to former club Atletico Madrid is a venture that interests him.
Like most of his Blues colleagues, the Spain international has endured a frustrating campaign so far, which infamously culminated in his hurling a bib at boss Jose Mourinho when it became apparent he wouldn’t be brought on during his team’s recent goalless draw with Tottenham.
While stopping short of admitting that, were his pram present and stocked with all his toys, he would’ve launched one of those instead, Costa has since acknowledged he was wrong to pelt his manager with club-branded cloth, but the following comments are unlikely to be well received in Mourinho’s office.
When quizzed on whether he might one day grace the Vicente Calderon clad in the barbershop stripes of Los Colchoneros, the Brazilian-born forward replied:
“You never know. Look at how well Filipe Luis is doing. Life is full of surprises. I always wish Atletico the best and always follow them and support them from afar.”
It’s not the first time Costa has been linked with a return to Atleti, with whom he won the 2013/14 La Liga title, but when this speculation has previously surfaced, the 27-year-old was in form, scoring goals and an irreplaceable player in a team that was winning every week.
Now, none of the above is applicable and the striker’s latest remarks have presented the west Londoners with a glorious opportunity to make some money back on the £32m investment they made in the frontman.
With just three Premier League strikes to his name so far, Costa is certainly expendable, while Atleti’s track record of taking back the prized assets they once sold suggests they’d barter with the Blues despite his modest goal return.
The Chelsea line-leader carries more baggage than your average pop diva, though his antics are worth putting up with if he is finding the net frequently.
When the goals aren’t flowing, however, the motives for keeping him on board lose transparency.
Transfer speculators have suggested plenty of sharpshooting alternatives to Costa in recent weeks and, with the prospect of salvaging a top-four finish from what has been a dreadful season so far still alive, they must sell up in January and restock the ranks.