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Volume 10 No. 23
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Chelsea Finally Strikes Deal To Send AWOL Diego Costa To Atlético Madrid

Chelsea is loaning Diego Costa to Atlético Madrid for the rest of the season and the Spanish club "committed to buy him" for €65M ($77.6M) at the end of that arrangement, according to Jason Burt of the London TELEGRAPH. The deal for Costa to leave was "finally struck" after it was agreed that Chelsea would not subsidize his wages, "even though he cannot play for Atlético until January" because of the club's transfer ban, or pay him any loyalty bonus. The terms of the agreement mean that Costa is "no longer Chelsea’s concern" and he can travel to Madrid to complete his medical and agree personal terms. He is "expected to be presented to the supporters before the home game against Sevilla on Saturday." Given Costa "has gone AWOL for 11 weeks," spending the entire summer in Brazil, and "refused to return to Chelsea this season," the notion of a loyalty payment "would seem remarkable although contractually it related to a percentage of any transfer fee agreed being due to him under his contract." Chelsea repeatedly fined Costa during his absence, "insisting that he is an employee in breach of contract." The Professional Footballers’ Association "blocks players being fined more than two weeks' wages but that is only in the case of them making themselves available to play." Costa has not done that and given he earns £150,000 ($203,700) a week, "he may well be" £1.5M ($2M) "out of pocket." Chelsea was "always prepared to sell Costa" but the message from club Owner Roman Abramovich was clear: "he would not be allowed to force his way out on the cheap" (TELEGRAPH, 9/21).