Respected Spanish radio station COPE claimed last night that a deal – worth an initial £48.4m, plus £8.8m in add-ons – has been agreed with the Blues and that Costa will be in Madrid by the weekend.
The two clubs have been in talks for several weeks over the 28-year-old Spain striker, who has made it clear he wants to rejoin Atletico.
Costa, who left the Spanish capital for Stamford Bridge in a £32m deal three years ago, has been AWOL in Brazil since mid-July and has refused Chelsea’s demands to return to training.
While Atletico are unable to register him officially until the transfer window reopens in January due to a FIFA ban, they want to buy Costa as soon as possible so he can start training properly again.
He last played a competitive fixture in June and has been doing basic drills on his own in Brazil for the last couple of months.
Chelsea have always been willing to sell Costa, with coach Antonio Conte informing him back in January that he would not be part of the squad this season. However, the club have maintained they would not sell the forward, who scored 52 League goals in three seasons, on the cheap, despite Costa putting them under pressure to do so with his off-field behaviour.
Atletico originally offered £25m in the summer and then £41m before the deadline shut last month but an agreement never materialised.