Chelsea star Diego Costa has admitted he met Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin during the summer, but insists it was just a coincidence and not to discuss a potential return to the La Liga side. The 26-year-old striker admitted his "affection" for Diego Simeone's side, but insists he never considered leaving Stamford Bridge, despite reports in Spain claiming the opposite.
Asked about the meeting with Marin, Costa told Spainish paper Sport: "It was just a coincidence. I went there to know Ibiza and I coincidentally met Miguel Angel. I have been many years at Atletico and we have an affection for each other," he told Sport.
"We discussed many things about the life and how I was. That's not saying I want to return. There are many things behind a normal conversation but [returning to Atletico] was not the subject. I had a great season at Chelsea and I was a champion. Everyone knows the affection I have for Atletico and how much I like this city, but London is another life and I'm also happy there."
The striker enjoyed an impressive first campaign in west London, scoring 20 Premier League goals despite missing a number of games due to recurrent hamstring problems. However, Spanish newspaper Marca reported last June that he has failed to adapt to London and was "like crazy" to return to the Vicente Calderon – as his now-former teammate Filipe Luis did just one year after arriving in Chelsea alongside Costa.
The striker then admitted difficulties with life in England but denied that he was actively seeking to leave the Blues: "[It is] quite a simple answer. It's always a bit more difficult in the first season to adapt, but I have no reason to leave this place. I love it, the fans love me and I want to stay."
But Marca recently reopened doubts over Costa's future after it revealed the striker met with Atletico's chief executive in Ibiza over the summer. It described the encounter as a "friendly meeting that got a lot of tongues wagging" and insisting Costa is unhappy in London and his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho is under strain.