Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has reportedly met with the Spanish club’s board and asked them not to sell Diego Costa to Chelsea this summer.
The Spanish international has been one of Atletico’s standout players so far this season with a stunning record of 27 goals and four assists in La Liga to go with eight goals and two assists in the Champions League.
It’s not strange to see just why Chelsea are considering spending over £30 million on the forward, given Jose Mourinho’s comments on his current strikers throughout this season.
However, any deal could now be in doubt as the Mirror suggests Simeone has begged the board not to sell his best goalscorer.
“Now, Atletico coach Diego Simeone has met with the directors to plead with them not to cash in on their star forward this summer, so he can carry on building a team that currently leads the Spanish title race and has qualified for the European Cup Final,” reads the Mirror’s report.
It’s a valid argument if that’s what Simeone has indeed stressed to the board, especially considering the fact the balance between Real Madrid and Barcelona dominance has now been broken in Spain.
It would theoretically be easier for Simeone to attract a replacement considering his side’s current success domestically and on the European stage, but Costa has the makings of a very special player.
Atletico could play hard ball unless Chelsea make concessions in the form of Thibaut Courtois, which could delay the deal but they are a business just like any other football club and if Chelsea dangle the carrot, it will be hard for Atletico to resist.
Several reports have already suggested that Costa has already agreed personal terms with the Blues ahead of an official move, which also complicates matters.
If Simeone can get his club to agree to delay the deal for potentially another season, Chelsea may well have moved on by next summer.
Therefore, Simeone risks alienating the player by wrecking his potential move to West London although Costa is a big figure at the club and has spoken of his happiness of being where he is throughout the season.
Simeone needs to have pleaded very hard with Atletico’s chiefs if the framework of a deal is already in place.