Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has refused to deny latest reports claiming that Los Colchoneros are close to agreeing a deal with Chelsea for Diego Costa - but has jokingly welcomed the prospect of the Spaniard returning to the La Liga side.

Cadena Ser show El Larguero reported on Wednesday night (13 September) that the Spanish international could complete his desired return to Atletico in the coming "10 or 15 days".

Manu Carreño, the presenter of the popular Spanish radio programme, said that Atletico are in "advanced" negotiations with Chelsea to secure his services in a deal worth around €55m (£49.1m, $65.4m).

Carreño added that the AWOL Chelsea striker would put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal which will start in January – with Atletico unable to register due to a Fifa ban which expires at the end of the year.

Curiously Cerezo was a special guest of El Larguero on Wednesday [13 September] night as the show was held at the new Wanda Metropolitan stadium, which will be opened in earnest by Atletico this weekend in the La Liga clash against Malaga.

The Atletico president however appeared to be surprised by the news and provided a coy response to questions regarding a possible deal.

"It's always good to hear good news like this. The truth is that we had no idea about it but one never goes to bed without knowing anything new," Cerezo joked when asked by Carreño whether he could confirm that the agreement is close.

"I do not deny it at all. I totally agree when journalists talk because you journalists speak well and know what you are saying. But I'm glad I came here tonight [to learn that we are about to sign Costa] because now I can go home calmer. I'm leaving home at once."

Nevertheless, speaking more seriously afterwards, the president admitted that Atletico do want to sign the Chelsea striker.

"We can not register players [until January] but we can sign. We want Diego Costa," Cerezo admitted. "Another thing is that we can bring him because there are always a number of circumstances for a negotiation to go through. If that is solved, Costa will come. If it is not solved, he won't join us."

Costa has been tipped to return to Atletico since the player revealed in June that Antonio Conte had informed him by text message that he was no longer part of Chelsea plans ahead of the 2017-18 season.

The Spaniard tried to force the move in the summer and remains in Brazil despite Chelsea ordering him to report back to Cobham for first-team training.

However, Costa still belongs to the Premier League champions despite reports from both Spain and England that his move to Atletico was going to be only a matter hours.

Diego Costa
Costa has been poised to return to Atletico since June. Getty Images