Costa returns to Chelsea training, as hopes of China move fade
Diego Costa took a full part in training with the Chelsea first team yesterday as the likelihood of a move to China dwindled.
Press Association Sport understands Costa was involved as his Chelsea team-mates returned following two days off after Saturday’s win at Leicester.
Head coach, Antonio Conte, said the 28-year-old striker was absent from that game with a back problem, which saw him miss three days of training last week.
Costa had been linked with a mega-money move to Tianjin Quanjian.
Chelsea and owner Roman Abramovich are determined to keep the Spain striker, who has scored 14 Premier League goals in 19 games this season.
And the Chinese Super League club’s owner yesterday said that Chelsea’s desire to keep the striker until the end of the season and the new limit on foreign imports to China, with three permitted in matchday squads, will scupper a deal.
Tianjin’s billionaire owner Shu Yuhui told Tianjin TV, according to Sina Sports: “This situation has brought a change to our signing plans. If (the rule) had been ‘4 +1’ as in the past, then we would have made a big investment this year, but now it seems to be changed to three.
“The online reports about Costa, it’s true we’d like him, and we made an offer for (Edinson) Cavani and were deep in negotiations.”
The news may be a boost to Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes, but the subject of Costa’s future will not go away.
The Independent yesterday reported that Atletico Madrid, Costa’s former club, and Barcelona could try to sign the Brazil-born Spain striker this summer. Costa signed a five-year deal on his arrival from Atletico in July 2014 for £32m.
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