La Liga giants are keen to take the fiery leader off their books, but moving the ex-Chelsea forward proves difficult
He was a talismanic presence during his first stint at Atletico, helping them win a domestic title and a Champions League final.
At this point Costa was considered one of Europe’s most formidable strikers, with Chelsea signing him in the summer of 2014.
Three productive years were spent in England before joining Atleti, but only 17 goals were scored in 83 more appearances for Madrid.
Diego Simeone has given the Brazilian star plenty of opportunities, but the desired impact has come. With this in mind, and an expiring contract to be considered, potential suitors are being probed.
Atletico are eager to avoid losing Costa on a freebie in 2021 and would rather find a buyer in the current window – but their reputation and price have been hit significantly.
His agent is working with Atletico to find a taker, but no formal interest has yet been found. And this, despite the approach of the Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1 teams, with possible routes to Turkey and Brazil also explored.
There are other avenues to follow, with the US, Qatar and China not being excluded – although clubs in Asia now face a high tax rate when it comes to recruiting. renowned signatures from abroad.
This could further complicate what is already proving to be a long saga.
The financial implications of Covid-19 mean clubs around the world have less money to work in the latest transfer market.
As a result, asking prices are reduced, while the transfer of unwanted assets can be tricky. Atletico find out the hard way, but Costa will leave Wanda Metropolitano if a suitable destination can be found. Simeone might seek to keep the mighty one before if he is forced into a corner, but the exit door is open.