Chelsea striker Diego Costa: I could still join Atletico Madrid
Diego Costa has raised the possibility of signing for Atletico Madrid and joining another club on loan until their transfer ban ends in January.
Costa -- who again stressed that Chelsea would make the final decision on his future -- revealed last week that head coach Antonio Conte had told him via text that he was no longer wanted at Stamford Bridge.
His former club Atletico cannot register new players until Jan. 1 after infringing FIFA rules on signing underage players, but they can still make signings and loan them elsewhere until the New Year.
Speaking after Spain's win over Macedonia on Sunday, Costa said Atletico's transfer ban did not rule them out as a potential destination.
"To sign for Atletico does not mean I wouldn't play," the 28-year-old told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. "I could go out on loan.
"Chelsea has to decide my future. I have two years left on my contract. I have to wait for the club's decision. If they want to sell me, I will decide what the best option is. I would love to play for Atletico."
The sense that Costa's days at Chelsea were numbered grew in January, when he was dropped by Conte following a training ground row days after Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian had offered to make him the world's highest-paid footballer.
Tianjin's interest in a potential £76 million move has receded in recent weeks, but Chelsea are keen to get the maximum return from any sale as they prepare to finance a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, who is valued at £100m.
Asked whether there was still a chance that he could stay, Costa said: "Things don't work like that. If it was a fair fight [for a starting position], I would consider staying, but if it's not I have to leave."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.