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Simeone: I won't stop Diego Costa joining Chelsea

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says he won't stop Diego Costa joining Chelsea, and the decision is up to the player.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has said he will not block any proposed Diego Costa move to Chelsea.

The manager made the sensational admission in an interview with AS, where he claimed the decision rests with the player whether the proposed transfer goes ahead or not.

Simeone said: "It depends on him and what he believes is best for his future. I will support any decision. 

"It is normal that Chelsea are interested in him. He has good economic potential. Eto'o gets older and (they want) Diego Costa to do their work, but now he's ours."

The Argentine added that he had not fitness concerns over the striker after he collided with a post against Getafe after scoring and had to be stretchered off the field on Sunday.

He added that he felt Costa is becoming a contender for the Ballon d'Or, with his La Liga goal tally for the season just two shy of current holder Cristiano Ronaldo.

"You have things to improve. He's rebellious, and I like that, and is called to be different. Hopefully he will not stop his growth. It depends on what he wants to do. Today he is among the candidates for the Ballon d'Or."

Simeone is essentially hinting to Costa that while his future is in his hands, if he stays at Atletico under his management, he will continue to improve. At Chelsea, or anywhere else, there are less guarantees.

Reports in Spain claimed over the weekend that Chelsea have struck a provisional agreement with Atletico over a potential summer transfer.

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