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Reports: Diego Costa could move to Milan on loan

The Chelsea forward’s path back to Madrid still is not clear, but maybe a certain Italian side can help.

Stoke City v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Reports in Italy, cited in AS and Sport, suggest that Diego Costa may be loaned to AC Milan ahead of a January move to Atlético Madrid.

Chelsea are negotiating Costa’s exit with Atlético, and talks are expected to speed up once Álvaro Morata gets settled in with the Blues. It is now widely anticipated - even expected - that Costa will complete a move back to Atleti in the coming weeks, but a new wrinkle has emerged in the Spain international’s transfer saga.

In a strategy similar to the one presented for Vitolo, Italian paper La Repubblica claim that Milan are now an option to take Costa on loan from Chelsea until Atlético’s registration ban is lifted in January. The Serie A giants have had an outrageous summer of spending and have put themselves firmly in Scudetto contention for 2017/18; having Costa partner young ex-Porto forward André Silva for half a season wouldn’t hurt those chances.

Also, it does not appear that Costa would be cup-tied in European competition upon his return to Atlético either. Milan currently are in the Europa League’s third qualifying round, and in January the 28-year-old would join an Atleti side likely into the last 16 of the Champions League.

This move would be beneficial to all parties. Chelsea would get rid of a bad apple, while Costa would get reps and stay match-fit in a top team from a competitive league, pleasing both Atlético and Milan. It’s worth noting that these three teams linked up on the Alessio Cerci-Fernando Torres swap of 2015, meaning there is some familiarity here.