Whether Chelsea go on to win the Premier League title or not, one of Antonio Conte’s first jobs this summer will be sorting out Diego Costa’s future once and for all.
It’s hard to say whether the striker’s transfer saga has blown over. In January, Costa had a well-documented falling out with Conte, which the manager did well to brush under the carpet.
The fact remains, though, that this calendar year, he has not looked the same player.
The Spain international is expected to leave Stamford Bridge once the transfer window opens, with the Chinese Super League the obvious destination after interest in the New Year.
However, it appears there is still interest from elsewhere. One club Costa will not be joining is Juventus, claims the Sun, because he doesn’t want to play second fiddle to Gonzalo Higuain.
It’s possible that this isn’t just a matter of ego – though that can’t be ruled out – as Costa does operate best as a lone striker.
Juve fear losing Mario Mandzukic and want a top forward to replace him, but Higuain’s presence is going to loom large over whoever does move to Turin.
Costa has reportedly set his heart on a switch back to Atletico Madrid having never really settled in England.
Chelsea are well aware he has that attitude and are pursuing Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata as a replacement.