Diego Costa has been AWOL from Chelsea at the start of the season having remained in Brazil after being frozen out by Antonio Conte.
Chelsea have struggled to shift Costa due to Atletico Madrid’s transfer bans meaning they cannot register new players until January.
He has refused to return to train with the reserves as he waits on his move to Madrid.
And now it looks like he will get it with Marca claiming the clubs are close to agreeing a deal worth £54m that would see him make the move in January.
It will mark the end of a saga that Chelsea are desperately keen to put behind them but one where they want value for their player.
However one theory was that he would sign for them now and get loaned out until January.
However he has remained on the books at Chelsea despite being unlikely to play.
He was registered for the Premier League but is not in Chelsea’s Champions League squad.
Costa helped Chelsea win the title last season with 20 Premier League goals but was told by Conte he was free to go at the start of the summer.
The Italian sent Costa a text message to end his Stamford Bridge career and begin a saga in which the striker’s lawyers have threatened legal action.
Costa gave an explosive interview to the Daily Mail in which he claimed to have been treated like a criminal while watching Chelsea’s first game of the season – the defeat to Burnley.
But Conte laughed off those accusations and insisted the striker was in the past.
Costa however failed to land the move before the transfer deadline shut meaning he remains a Chelsea player.
The Blues have picked up following that defeat to Burnley and have won their next three games to move up to third in the table.
But all three parties appear to be closing in on a deal that will suit everyone and could be all agreed this week.
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