Chelsea exit a shame for Diego Costa says Cesc Fabregas
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 26/09/17 12:16pm
Cesc Fabregas has paid tribute to Diego Costa ahead of his move from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid, saying the striker "deserves to be on the field".
Sky sources understand Atleti will pay more than £50m to sign Costa, who must pass a medical and agree personal terms before the move can be confirmed.
The Spain forward, who refused to train at Chelsea this summer in a bid to force through a transfer, is set to rejoin his former club in January when Atleti's transfer ban expires.
"It's a shame for him more than anyone," Fabregas told Marca. "Diego knew that signing for Atletico meant he could not play for a few months.
"It has been a difficult situation for him, for Chelsea. He deserves to be on the field."
Costa and Fabregas both signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2014 and helped the club win two Premier League titles and a League Cup.
"Diego is always [a friend] and never a rival," Fabregas added. "In recent years there has not been a better pure No 9 than him.
"I understood him myself perfectly. He knew my football, he read my passes and most importantly, he got on the end of them.
"He gives a lot to the team. It is not only the Diego you see on the field. He is a character that greatly encourages the group."