Chelsea striker Diego Costa is set to clinch a return to his previous club Atletico Madrid after the Premier League champions agreed a £53m deal with the Spanish outfit.
The transfer brings to a close the Brazil-born Spain international’s eventful spell at Chelsea, which began in 2014 with a £32m move and yielded two top-flight titles but ended in acrimony.
The 28-year-old cannot formally join Atletico until January, when the transfer window reopens and the La Liga side’s ban from trading is due to be lifted.
Costa scored 58 goals in 120 appearances for the Blues but has not played this season after he failed to return from a summer break following a breakdown in relations with manager Antonio Conte.
His time in England was also marked by repeated disciplinary issues, with his combative style earning him five bans totalling nine games in three seasons.
The deal is represents a new record fee for Atletico, where he shot to prominence with 35 goals in 44 games during the 2014-14 campaign, and will see the player reunited with his former mentor Diego Simeone.
Chelsea effectively filled Costa’s place during the summer when they signed Alvaro Morata, his Spain team-mate, from Real Madrid for £58m.