Atletico president praises Costa – but denies deal

Diego Costa

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has paid tribute to the qualities of Diego Costa as a striker but denies a deal is done to sign the Chelsea star.

The Spain international appears to be surplus to requirements with the Blues after seemingly falling out with manager Antonio Conte. In addition, reports suggest that Los Colchoneros are favourites to land his signature, despite the side's president saying no deal has been reached.

Speculation has further increased when the 28-year-old posted a photograph of himself on social media wearing an Atletico shirt recently.

Cerezo told Marca, "Diego Costa is, at the moment, a Chelsea player and you know that we cannot sign him. Costa is a great player, he is magnificent and you all know who he is.

"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?"

During his time in England with Chelsea, the powerful forward has plundered 59 goals in 120 appearances. In the most recent 2016/17 campaign, he managed 22 strikes which is his second highest return in a single season as a professional.  

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