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Could Costa be heading back to Atletico?

When Atletico Madrid clinched their first La Liga title in 18 years in 2014/15, it was only a matter of time before star players Diego Costa and Filipe Luis were going to be picked off by European football’s major clubs.

As it turned out, Chelsea ended up shelling out over £50 million to sign the duo and went on to win the Premier League the same season. But while Luis made a return to Atletico after just one year in the Premier League, his former Chelsea team-mate, Diego Costa, could be the next man to re-sign for the club where he enjoyed his most success.

Luis never really managed to break into Jose Mourinho’s plans during his time in England, and a return to Madrid was something of a no-brainer when Chelsea decided to cut their losses on the Brazilian.

For Costa, though, his first season in the Premier League saw him finish as the division’s top scorer with 20 goals, playing a crucial role in Chelsea winning the title.

It was a different story at the start of this season, however, with the Brazilian-born Spain international falling out of favour under Mourinho and reportedly playing a role in the manager losing his job at the end of 2015.

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With Chelsea seemingly out of the title race, looking like real outsiders in Europe and priced at around 5/1 as of 14th January with the FA Cup betting, Costa knows this team is in a very different place from the one he joined at the beginning of last season.

Following his role in Mourinho’s sacking, a section of the Chelsea fan-base has turned on the striker and that has not been helped by Costa’s modest form this season.

While it would be a real shock to see the forward leave Stamford Bridge during January, Costa’s current troubles may convince him to push for a move back to the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

Despite getting back to scoring ways under Guus Hiddink in recent weeks, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Costa would be open to a return to Atletico. For the Primera Liga side, they would jump at the chance to re-sign a player who scored 27 goals in their title-winning season, if Chelsea made him available.

Currently top of the league, Atletico’s impressive form this season comes down mainly to their remarkable defensive record, conceding just eight goals since the start of the campaign, rather than their offensive unit.

In attack, however, the club have scored less than 30 goals and, without Antoine Griezmann’s tally of nine goals, the rest of the club’s strikers have only scored seven goals between them. Following a big-money move from Porto in the summer, Jackson Martinez has so far failed to live up to the hype, mustering just two goals since his arrival in Madrid.

The Colombian had been tipped to be Griezmann’s main striking partner, but Martinez has instead opted for Luciano Vietto, Angel Correa and Fernando Torres for much of this season alongside the Frenchman.

At 27 years old, Chelsea would want to recoup much of what they spent on Costa in 2014. Whether or not Atletico could afford that remains to be seen, but it would certainly be a move that would send out a statement to Barcelona and Real Madrid.

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