As expected, Diego Costa underwent a medical ahead of his proposed January 1 transfer, which was completed in two parts on Saturday and Monday. Atlético Madrid announced Tuesday that the terms of Costa’s transfer have been finalized and he will begin training this week. Though Costa cannot play until January, it makes a huge difference for both the player and for Atlético to start getting Costa back to full fitness.
Onda Cero’s Joaquín Rodriguez reports that Costa’s arrival is initially on loan and subject to a €5m fee. Next June, Costa will sign for three-and-a-half seasons and Atlético will pay Chelsea €50m plus up to €10m in bonuses to make the move permanent.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the announcement was Costa’s squad number, which will be 18 this season. Costa’s preferred 19 shirt currently belongs to Lucas Hernández, and shirt numbers cannot be changed during the season. It seems likely Costa will take his number back at the start of next season, with Lucas either getting a lower number or departing the club (let’s hope for the former).
Costa is upbeat about joining, and to his credit, he never wavered from his position of wanting to return to Atlético and only Atlético. This week, some English newspapers reported Everton offered €75 million for him, but he rejected the move. Regardless of the validity of that transfer rumor in particular, there were reports of several clubs being in for Costa, but his position remained the same.
“I am very, very happy to return to my home,” Costa said to Atlético’s official website. “I have a lot of desire to start contributing. I will give everything for the team, which I always try to do.”
It will be fantastic to see Costa training with the first team in the coming weeks, and even more exciting once he can start playing in January. It is clear this is the move Costa wanted, even if it took a while to get over the line, and he is motivated to have a big impact in the second half of the season.
What are your thoughts on the big man’s return now that it’s officially official? Sound off in the comments!