A Chelsea player linked with a move to Atlético Madrid, and vice versa, is not a new phenomenon. Some may call it annoying, others fascinating, but it's always in the news. Speaking to state-owned broadcaster RTVE on Saturday, Atlético president Enrique Cerezo was asked about an old friend who has been spotted around rumor mills lately.
"Right now, Diego [Costa] is a Chelsea player and he has to focus on Chelsea. But you never know what will happen in football, and sometimes players do return to their former clubs."
Before I move on: Cerezo also told RTVE that Diego Simeone will continue to be a part of Atleti history and will stay as long he wants - comments that match up with Simeone's own remarks in his recent interview with El País. Cerezo also indicated that Antoine Griezmann is loved and admired and happy in Madrid, which is fantastic news that...isn't exactly news.
Now back to the elephant in the room, one Diego Costa. Earlier this week Robbie reported on a rumor making the rounds that Atlético and Chelsea are trying to work out a striker swap. To recap: Costa is unhappy in London and wants a return to Spain (something that Marca has peddled since the summer) and Jackson has failed to settle following his expensive move from Porto, so Simeone wants him gone.
Say what you will about the rumor's source (the Metro, citing fichajes.com), but it's true that Jackson's situation has become troublesome. He's been out six weeks with a bum ankle, and in the 779 minutes he's played he's scored three goals. Atlético ripped off eight straight wins without him. It's not hard to connect the dots and deduce that Atleti haven't exactly missed the Colombian, ergo fueling continuous departure whispers.
Costa, meanwhile, has sputtered through most of 2015 after a tremendous 2013 and a great 2014. However, he did net a brace in Chelsea's first game under new management, which is positive news for him. Not-so-positive news: he's 27, his hamstrings are now a monthly concern and his career with the Spanish NT hangs by a thread. It's certainly possible Costa experiences a revival under Hiddink and makes himself available for Chelsea's next permanent manager; considering the dynamics at that club, I'd say it's way too early to make declarations one way or the other. It's also possible his form dips again and Chelsea's new manager decides to move him on.
Enrique Cerezo doesn't seem so certain about the circumstances, either, and that uncertainty leaves the door slightly ajar for Costa's return. You never know what will happen in football.