Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has refused to deny that Diego Costa asked the club to bring him home from Chelsea, amid speculations the Spaniard is unhappy in London. The club chief, however, called a potential move "hypothetical", as Costa is still contracted to the Premier League mid-tablers.
Diego Costa's future at Stamford Bridge has been under scrutiny since last June, when Spanish newspaper Marca said the striker desperate to move back to his former home after failing to adapt to life in London. He was said to have met with Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin in Ibiza over the summer to discuss a move.
Costa made little effort to calm those rumours following the Champions League win over Porto on 9 December, revealing he could follow in the footsteps of Filipe Luis during an interview with Onda Cero.
"You never know – look where Filipe Luis is now. Life is full of surprises," he said. "I always wish Atletico the best and I always follow them, I support them from afar."
AS reported during the January transfer window that Atletico Madrid launched a €45m (£34.5m, $50.2m) offer to get Costa's signature, but the Premier League outfit immediately turned it down.
Asked by Cadena Ser about whether the club tried to sign him during the January mercato, Cerezo said: "No, I spoke with Diego Costa occasionally but never about him coming back here because I think he has a long contract at Chelsea."
But questioned whether the Spanish striker has pleaded him to get him back, he responded: "Well, you know how players are. They always [say these things] in a loving way... But every player says that."
Asked whether they talked with Chelsea about the possibility during the January transfer window, he replied: "No, no. Not at all.
"Moreover I tell you one thing: He has a contract [at Chelsea] and he is now scoring goals there. It's a very hypothetical thing that Diego could return to play in Atletico Madrid."
Stories of Costa returning have increased in recent days after Atletico Madrid sold Jackson Martinez to Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande for £31m – meaning they will have more money to spend in the summer.
When reporters asked Cerezo if Atletico will try to secure his services in the summer, the president said: "In summer we will see what happens because we have a little issue with the Fifa [transfer ban]."
Fifa, however, have provisionally suspended the transfer embargoes on both Real and Atletico Madrid, meaning they will be probably go ahead with their transfer plans in the summer and will not serve the ban until the following two markets.
"The ban has been provisionally suspended so we will be able to work as usual. But we must ready for the future because two transfer windows without signings would be too long for a team like us who want to be up in Europe."