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Diego Costa yearns for Atletico return, rules out playing in China

Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic

Diego Costa isn’t giving up on his dream of returning to Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish forward looks as though he’s destined to leave Chelsea this summer after allegedly being told he will not be included in manager Antonio Conte’s plans heading into the 2017-18 season.

Although he previously revealed his interest in reuniting with his former club, Atletico’s transfer ban has complicated matters.

Related: CAS stands by Atletico Madrid transfer ban

But Costa, who conceded that Chelsea will ultimately decide whether he leaves this summer and revealed that he will not entertain offers from China, is eager to find ways to circumvent the situation.

“I have a contract with Chelsea, they have to know what to do with me and I have to wait and know the decision that my club takes,” Costa told reporters, as translated by Andy Charles of Sky Sports.

“I have a contract of two years with Chelsea, they have to decide. If they sell me, I will look for the best choice.

“Atletico is among them, it would not mean not playing, they can loan me out to some team in Spain, Brazil or wherever, but I have to play.

“Everyone knows that I have a lot of affection for them. Of course I rule out China, I have to think about the World Cup. Atletico is a club that I have a lot of affection for, independently of whether I go there or not, I will continue to love them.”

After revealing Conte’s apparent decision to move on, Costa once again eluded to a possible dysfunctional relationship with the Italian manager, and insisted there’s no hard feelings between himself and his Chelsea teammates.

“In life there are good and bad people,” he said. “I’ll stay with the good of everything. You have to ask him, not me. It’s an opinion of the coach, if he has the option of putting another in.

“But there are things and ways of doing things and saying them. But well, thanks to God I do not lack teams.

“The most important thing is that my team-mates want me. We know what there is there, who is good and bad. I get on very well with everyone and that speaks for itself.”

The 28-year-old was instrumental during Chelsea’s Premier League-winning campaign after finishing among the top five scorers with 20 goals.

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