Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has confirmed publicly for the first time Diego Costa will leave the club and the decision was made back in January.
The Spain international has been heavily linked with a return to Atletico Madrid this summer, whom he left for Stamford Bridge in 2014.
“I don’t like to talk about players who are not here,” Conte told reporters.
“But the only thing I can tell you [is that] in January, the Costa situation was very clear, for the club for him and his agent. For me the situation is closed.”
The 28-year-old would not be able to play with Atletico, should they sign him, until January 2018 due to their registration ban, however reports on Friday indicated Milan may opt to loan the striker until then.