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Atletico launch shock Costa bid

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Chelsea receive player-plus-cash bid for Spain international

Atletico Madrid launched a shock bid to bring Diego Costa back to the Vicente Calderon just 18 months after joining Chelsea.

The Blues immediately rejected a swap transfer of Jackson Martinez, who Chelsea have been taking an interest in, for Costa, and subsequently rejected Martinez plus cash to send their top scorer back to Spain.

Costa has netted six in his last six games after a tough start to the campaign which had brought questions about his future, with Chelsea still languishing in 13th in the Premier League.

Blues fans had branded the 27-year-old a ‘rat’, blaming him, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard for Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December. But Chelsea will not let the former Atletico man return to his former club.

Banned from signing players

The Madrid club were banned by FIFA from making signings, but their appeal has meant their ban has been provisionally suspended, meaning Diego Simeone is looking to quickly bolster his side in case their appeal is rejected.

Martinez, who Chelsea continue to take an interest in, has scored just three goals in 22 appearances for Atletico and would no doubt prove an unpopular swap had the Blues accepted Atletico’s offer.

Costa was a hit in the Spanish capital before being sold for £32 million in 2014, and it is not understood whether Atletico will finally end their interest in the Brazil-born Spain international.

Guus Hiddink has got the best back out of Costa and will prove vital in Chelsea’s season run-in as they desperately look to charge up the league table.

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