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Diego Costa admits he wanted to leave Chelsea for Atletico Madrid

Diego Costa celebrates Chelsea's second goal against Stoke City
Image: Diego Costa wanted to leave Chelsea in the summer

Diego Costa admits he tried to push through a move back to Atletico Madrid before eventually going to Chelsea boss Antonio Conte with his "tail between his legs".

The striker was heavily linked with a move back to his former club last summer after enduring a frustrating 2015/16 season as Chelsea failed miserably to defend their Premier League crown.

The two clubs were reportedly in negotiations over the transfer but talks broke down, which meant Costa had to build bridges with Conte.

It had long been expected, but it was not until July 15 that Chelsea finally confirmed the signing of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid on a 5-year-deal
Image: Diego Costa enjoyed great success at Atletico Madrid

Costa told El Larguero: "Atletico knows I have a special feeling for the team, I lived the best moment of my career there. El Cholo [Diego Simeone] knows it wasn't impossible for me to come back to Atletico.

"The relationship with Conte didn't start well because when he arrived I told him I wanted to go to Atletico. Chelsea's fans love me a lot, even more than in Atletico, figure that!

"When Atletico had to wait for me they didn't, there was still a month to go in the transfer market.

"I've done everything to come back to Atletico Madrid but I wouldn't fight the same to return. When Atletico didn't wait for me, I had to go to Conte with the tail between my legs."

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Antonio Conte embraces Chelsea striker Diego Costa
Image: Costa says his relationship with Antonio Conte 'did not start well'

Costa has been a key figure in Chelsea's run to the top of the Premier League this season but a reported bust-up with his manager in January again saw his future put in doubt.

Sky sources understood Costa was the subject of a £30m-a-year offer from Chinese clubs, who were willing to pay Chelsea up to £80m to sign the striker. However, Chelsea rebuffed the offer and Costa has continued his impressive form in the Premier League.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  Diego Costa (R) of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mates during the Premier League match between C
Image: Costa has scored 17 Premier League goals this season

His long-term future in west London is still unclear, though.

Costa said: "In life, anything can happen and I do not close the door to anything. In football you are worth what you are worth when you are good. And why not? But right now I am good at Chelsea…I have two years left on my contract and I intend to fulfil them.

"But you never know. It's not impossible to reject it because there are things to assess. You have to think about it all. I do not rule out anything. If they come with something for Chelsea and the club tell me to go…I can go to China or elsewhere."

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