Back in January, there was a strong intent from Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian for Chelsea striker Diego Costa, and many believed the Brazilian-born Spain international was interested in the deal to make him one of the highest paid players in world football.
Chelsea held on to their prized striker and it was believed that he’d leave at the end of the season.
However, if there was any such deal in place, a new rule in the Chinese Super League has made it almost impossible.
The Chinese Football Association has implemented a restriction on Chinese Super League clubs buying foreign players, making it so clubs in debt must match the transfer fee of a foreign player with a donation to a development fund.
This new rule will make it difficult for clubs in the Chinese Super League to splash the cash.
Recently, Costa declared his ambition to stay at Chelsea and revealed that if he must leave Chelsea, it will be to Atletico Madrid. But even that now seems impossible.
“I will only leave Chelsea for Atletico,” Costa said after our 2-1 FA Cup loss to Arsenal on Saturday at Wembley.
“If not, I will stay here. I’m not interested in other clubs.”
Atletico Madrid will not be able to sign new players this summer as their transfer ban has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Spanish side were banned in July 2016 from registering players for two transfer windows for breaching Fifa rules over the signing of minors.
So, Costa will most likely be a Chelsea player next season, except Tianjin Quanjian does the extraordinary.