Diego Costa is still officially a Chelsea player even now the club have all but replaced him.
The imminent arrival of Alvaro Morata should signal the end of Costa’s career at Stamford Bridge once and for all.
It’s remarkable that the Spain international is still there at all, with Antonio Conte having texted him at the start of the summer to inform him he wasn’t in his plans.
Shifting the striker has proved more difficult than anticipated, however, particularly in light of Atletico Madrid’s transfer embargo.
It’s been widely reported that the La Liga outfit would get round the ban by agreeing a deal with the 28-year-old now and then formally registering him in January 2018.
However, club president Enrique Cerezo has cast doubt on that in his latest comments quoted by the Mirror.
“Diego Costa is a great player, he is magnificent,” Cerezo said.
“But at the moment, he is a Chelsea player and you know that we cannot sign him.
“I have not talked to him for a long time, for at least a year, since he left I’ve spoken to him very little.
“He was in Spain for many years before, he’s had a spell in England, learning English and I imagine he will return to Spain someday on vacation, why wouldn’t he return on vacation?”
Costa has not joined Chelsea on their pre-season tour of the Far East and recently posted a video featuring him wearing his old Atletico shirt.