Diego Costa concedes that he tried to push through a move back to Atletico Madrid before eventually going to Chelsea boss Antonio Conte with his “tail between his legs”.
The striker was heavily connected with a move back to his former club last summer after enduring a frustrating 2015/16 season as Chelsea failed miserably to protect their Premier League crown.
The two clubs were reportedly in negotiations over the transfer yet talks broke down, which meant Costa had to build bridges with Conte.
Costa told El Larguero: “Atletico knows I have a special feeling for the team, I lived the best moment of my career there. El Cholo [Diego Simeone] knows it wasn’t impossible for me to come back to Atletico.”
“The relationship with Conte didn’t start well because when he arrived I told him I wanted to go to Atletico. Chelsea’s fans love me a lot, even more than in Atletico, figure that!”
“When Atletico had to wait for me they didn’t, there was still a month to go in the transfer market.”
“I’ve done everything to come back to Atletico Madrid but I wouldn’t fight the same to return. When Atletico didn’t wait for me, I had to go to Conte with the tail between my legs.”
Costa has been a key figure in Chelsea’s run to the top of the Premier League this season but a reported bust-up with his manager in January again saw his future put in doubt.
Sky sources comprehended Costa was the subject of a £30m-a-year offer from Chinese clubs, who were willing to pay Chelsea up to £80m to sign the striker. However, Chelsea rebuffed the offer and Costa has continued his impressive form in the Premier League.
His long-term future in west London is still unclear, though.
Costa stated: “In life, anything can happen and I do not close the door to anything. In football you are worth what you are worth when you are good. And why not? But right now I am good at Chelsea…I have two years left on my contract and I intend to fulfil them.”
“But you never know. It’s not impossible to reject it because there are things to assess. You have to think about it all. I do not rule out anything. If they come with something for Chelsea and the club tell me to go…I can go to China or elsewhere.”