Costa terminated his contracted at Atleti on 29 December in the hope of finding a new club and regular first-team football but the transfer window has come and gone, with the striker still without a new team.
A subsequent report in El Mundo stipulated how Atleti only granted the striker’s request on condition that he did not join one of the rivals, with a series of clauses put into the agreement.
Costa would reportedly be fined €25m if he joined one of those three rival Spanish clubs still in the Champions League (Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid), or €5m if he joined another side still in Europe’s elite club competition, while if he moves elsewhere then Atleti would pay him the remaining €3.2m of his contract.
The 32-year-old had fallen from prominence at Atleti in recent months with Luis Suarez and Joao Felix the established attacking partnership, while Moussa Dembele subsequently arrived on loan from Lyon, with Costa’s future remaining unclear.
A report in El Mundo Deportivo has outlined that the player’s gamble did not pay off as despite links to multiple clubs – which the report cites as including Trabzonspor, West Ham and Marseille – he remains a free agent.
The former Chelsea hitman will be keen to kickstart his career as soon as possible.