Chelsea agree terms with Athletico Madrid to sell Diego Costa

Spain manager sends message to Diego Costa amid transfer speculation

"I repeat: for sure we want to thank him for his effort last season with us".

Costa, 28, has been frozen out by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and spent the transfer window angling for a return to former club Atletico that never materialised.

- Reuters picLONDON, Sept 23 ― Diego Costa's departure will have no lasting impact on Chelsea's title ambitions because in Alvaro Morata they have signed the flawless striker to fill his boots, the club's former frontman Andriy Shevchenko said yesterday.

He scored 58 goals in 120 appearances for the Blues, leading them to the title twice in his three-year stint there.

Chelsea's Spanish striker Diego Costa will return to Atletico Madrid in January for a fixed transfer agreement worth €62 million ($74 million) plus €8million ($9.54 million) in variables, both clubs announced on Thursday.

Just a day after it had been confirmed that the Blues had agreed a fee with Atletico Madrid for Costa, Morata was involved in his sixth, seventh and eighth goals for Chelsea since joining from Real Madrid during the summer.

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"Morata is already a really good striker but I think he can improve a lot", the Italian stated.

"I think Alvaro performed very well". I'm not going to let the image of what I did at Chelsea be tainted by one person. "They know the person I am".

Morata then struck twice in five minutes late on to add some gloss to a scoreline that reflected harshly on Stoke.

While Costa is a bulldozing centre forward never slow to go to war with central defenders, Morata goes about his business in a more refined manner, relying on stealthy movement and an ability to find space in the opposition penalty area.

"He did a great job for the club".

"Diego Costa is not easy to replace and I don't think you can replace him with someone exactly in his mould", the former England global told Goal .

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