Costa to Atletico in January? Simeone tiptoes around transfer saga

Diego Simeone has acknowledged the possibility that Chelsea outcast Diego Costa will once again be playing for Atletico Madrid by 2018.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has hinted Diego Costa will return to the LaLiga club in January.

Costa has been told he is surplus to requirements at Chelsea this season as Antonio Conte's men prepare for their Premier League title defence.

The Spain striker's stated desire to return to Atleti is made complicated by the club's FIFA transfer ban, which prevents the team from registering new players until the mid-season transfer window.

Speaking ahead of Atletico's Audi Cup match against Napoli at the Allianz Arena, Simeone sought to steer clear of transfer speculation but could not keep Costa out of the conversation

"We're talking about the players that we have here and are available to us," he said.

"The team is trying to keep all the players here and the players want to stay with Atletico to achieve better goals and get better as a team.

"Of course Diego Costa, whether he'll come in January, we can't say anything about that yet. What's important is the players we have right now."

Chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Martin further told Atletico's official website they wanted to secure two players this close season.

Vitolo agreed to join Atleti from Sevilla last month on a five-year deal but the Spain winger will spend the first half of the season at Las Palmas.

Sevilla subsequently announced its intention to take legal action against Atletico and Las Palmas over the transfer.

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